AFI Top 100: Catch Up Time… Again

Well yet again I have fallen behind in my blogging on my goal to watch the American Film Institutions Top 100 Movies of All Time. I have a lot to catch up on, so here we go…

No. 71 Saving Private Ryan

The opening 27 minutes of Saving Private Ryan are among the most intense in cinema. You forget that you are sitting in your living room because suddenly you feel as though you have just landed on the beach of Normandy and those are your friends and comrades dying next to you. The movie continues following a group of soldiers on a quest to find young Private Ryan to take him home. Similar to AFI Top 100 No. 86 Platoon, Saving Private Ryan explores the moral tests that come during the hardships of war.

No. 70 A Clockwork Orange

I’m going to blame the reason I stopped blogging for awhile on this movie. It was a great movie… and one that disturbed and scared the hell out of me. The main character Alex is one of the most terrifying villains in all of filmmaking. The direction, the storyline, the acting… all of these were outstanding but I could not get over the disturbing character of Alex and his friends.

No. 69 Tootsie

After A Clockwork Orange, a comedy like Tootsie was much needed. It was clever, fun and Dustin Hoffman was brilliant in his role as a desperate actor looking for any sort of chance.

No. 68 Unforgiven

The thing I liked about Unforgiven (aside from its all-star cast), is how it shows that the Old West was not all fun and games. There were repercussions from the lifestyle of outlaws, even the ones that got away. Unlike most Westerns, there was no black and white. There was no true good guy and no true bad guy. It was an interesting film.

No. 67 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

The most disturbing movies are those that are most realistic. Elizabeth Taylor was absolutely brilliant as the unstable Martha and Sandy Dennis was marvelous as Honey. Well-acted, this movie makes you hope your life and relationship never turns into one like George and Martha’s.

No. 66 Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark is my all-time favorite movie. In my eyes, Indiana Jones is the greatest hero. He is charismatic, yet flawed, can get himself in and out of situations and is always able to save mankind. He was my first crush and one of the main reasons I love history. I almost studied archaeology because of this movie. It is one I have, and will continue to, watch again and again.

No. 65 The African Queen

What a fun movie! I kept telling Tim (who has never been to a Disney-themed park) how much this movie reminded me of The Jungle Cruise. This is a great family movie, one I’m somewhat surprised is on the list, but one I definitely enjoyed.

No. 64 Network

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Could there be a better line from a movie? Being a journalism major, and having worked in marketing, the dark comedy seemed truly not that far-fetched. Anyone who wants to work in some form of entertainment should watch this movie. It was truly fantastic.

No. 63 Cabaret

The early days of Hitler Germany are a fascinatingly troubling time in history. Cabaret does a great job exploring the bohemian lifestyle during that time period. Liza Minnelli is great and the music is wonderful too.

No. 62 American Graffiti

Before American Pie, before The Breakfast Club, before Fast Times at Ridgemont High, there was American Graffiti. This movie started the high school teenager movie craze. Following a group of teenagers on a typical weekend night in Modesto, Calif., the movie portrays the angst of the choices teenagers make. This movie gave several actors (including my fave Harrison Ford) their first break.

No. 61 Sullivan’s Travels

A wealthy film producer wants to help out the poor by making a movie showing how horrible the life of a poor person and doing so by portraying to be poor himself. The incidents he finds himself are entertaining and I loved the ending where he decided to make a comedy for the poor instead of a drama. Hopefully he continued to donate to the poor as well.

No. 60 Duck Soup

I loved the mirror scene in Duck Soup because it reminded me of one of my favorite Mickey Mouse cartoons. This is widely regarded as the Marx Brothers best film and it is hard to argue. The scene where he keeps changing costumes during battle is hilarious.

No. 59 Nashville

I think I would have enjoyed Nashville much more if it was a little shorter and had maybe a few less characters. I like movies where there are several characters loosely connected but felt this one was missing something…

No. 58 The Gold Rush

Charlie Chaplin is so cute and the film was quite funny. I loved the scene where he keeps trying to get out of the house but the wind keeps knocking him back in. The roll dance is darling too. Very cute film.

No. 57 Rocky

I don’t think I have ever met a person who has not loved Rocky. How can you not? Rocky Balboa is the ultimate underdog. He works his tail off to show the world that he deserves the shot he is given and he gets the girl of his dreams along the way. Rocky is definitely high up on my personal list.

No. 56 Jaws

Jaws was the original summer blockbuster. Say what you want about the special effects, but I certainly still jumped a few times while watching it. It’s a classic that will be enjoyed by many generations in the future. Great movie.

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