Journey With Me Through the American Film Institute's Top 100 Films. A movie a day. Experience for a lifetime. At least that's what we're aiming for.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Where Did the Time Go

So for those who follow, it's clear that I haven't been around as of late, nor have I been watching many movies. The Olympics, my friends. There's enough drama, war, comedy and cameos by Donald Sutherland and Michael J. Fox. Starting Monday, we will resume with updates from past movies and continue with the new. I look forward to the times to come and the movies to be watched and the time to be wasted, hopefully not too much though. I do have a life outside of this, at least for now.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blade Runner

A long time ago...
In a galaxy far far away...

There was a galactic empire of movies known as Star Wars. They ruled the entire universe of movie blockbusters and particularly of the science fiction realm. It started with the release of the first Star Wars movie Episode 4: A New Hope. Since 1977 and the two films that followed it, only one actor survived the fame and chaos and went on to have a successful career in show business. His name, was Harrison Ford. This is his least in the early 80's vision of the future...

Which brings us to AFI Number 97 Blade Runner, though many websites consider this to be the Number 1 Science Fiction movie of all time. Released in 1982, it's pretty surprising how advanced the imagery and special effects were for the time. Watching the movie, I couldn't help but notice the similarities with the "future" as depicted in the Fifth Element: flying cars, high buildings, Chinese people selling you food.

So cutting straight to the plot, I must admit that I enjoyed it despite the "film noir" adaptation throughout. Harrison Ford narrating his thoughts was a little humorous, especially since he sounded like a drunk John Wayne: "Well, you I was fee...ling....What did they...want...on Earth?" Actually, the more I think about it, it was definitely a mix of John Wayne and William Shatner and Jack Daniels. Oh, and something that I definitely did not like was the movie's resemblance to Lethal Weapon. Don't get me wrong, I liked Lethal Weapon and the 25 sequels, but is it necessary to play jazz music during every scene? Even the violent ones? It just doesn't make sense to me, and makes me feel that I'm watching an alternative on-stage performance of murder with some sweaty guy in the background playing the saxophone. If you think that's an odd scenario, then you know how I feel.

Edward James Olmos makes an appearance of what looks to be a character who's half Spanish, half Japanese, half from the future and half from the early 80's. Oh, and he has weird eyes. But I must give him credit for the origami skills. Referring back to my compliments on the movie's plot, I think the powerful message in the ending was ruined with the blatant narration of Harrison Ford, yet again. If they just left him picking up the origami bird and walking off, without a word being said, then I think it would have been so much more powerful. Sometimes silence is essential in movies, just not in the case of Ms. Scarlett who could never keep her mouth shut, for the love of God...

So if you're into science fiction, then watch the movie, it's just shy of 2 hours. If you aren't, but are somewhat interested in the story, then try the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep. If neither, then I bet you were expecting a third option which I unfortunately do not have for you. Sorry.

Until the afternoon, Lawrence of Arabia is next.

(Blade Runner theme FUN TASK: Try spending the whole day narrating everything you do in a John Wayne manner. Not only will you have a blast, but people will never forget you. That's one way to impress your boss.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Distractions...and the List

For the past couple of days, I've been distracted by so many other movies that we have to consider that the List is not the dictator of my viewing possibilities and options. So 2 days ago, I enjoyed new Blu Ray Disc movies and even watched some movies on the list (each will have their respective posts, I'm not playing favorites here, unlike the Oscars). Actually, to be honest, the first day was spent watching other movies and being lazy, while the next day was spent watching more movies, the Super Bowl and coming up with nice sounding excuses for why I hadn't been writing.

With a Saints win, many commercials, and 3 possible excuses later, I'm ready to return to my paycheck-less loss of entertaining myself and whomever else wants to mainly me.

Oh, movies I've been watching and/or recommend even though they're not on the list, but hey that's life:

1. Defending Your Life (Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep)- For me this movie was smart and funny and free, 3 points I particularly love about movies.

2. Gigantic (Zooey Deschanel and the black haired, mute kid from Little Miss Sunshine)- Odd movie. The chubby guy from the Hangover is particularly weird in this movie, but like always, Ms. Zooey is very pretty...not close to Ingrid Bergman, but one of the best of modern looks. I like her smile and her voice is unique too...anyway...

3. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (Michael Cera and an other girl)- It seems to me, even though I like his roles, that Michael Cera plays the same timid role in every movie he's in. I haven't seen his most recent film where he has a split persona, but I at least know one of them is still timid. In other words, he's like the modern day Joe Pesci (See my bit on Raging Bull for the reference). Other than that, and an extremely gross subplot surrounding an infamous piece of gum, I was disappointed at never getting to see Fluffy, the famous punk rock band that we never get to hear. (Oh, and the title seems to be longer than the actual playlist)

4. I Robot (Will Smith and robots and Transformers kid)- Maybe not the best acting, but the story is great, which makes me wonder if I should read the books. Either way, Will Smith is the same with his small comments and facial expressions. I may be biased on this one because it was BluRay and surround sound quality in my own home. Very cool.

5. The Storyteller (Jim Henson's Creature Shop)- The wonderful thing about Netflix is that you have access to things that you thought you completely forgot about! If you're like me, you grew up with fantasy movies and hair that was very poofy and curly at the same time. If not, then maybe just the fantasy movies. Legend, Labyrinth, the Dark Crystal, the Neverending Story and so many more. And here I find, the Storyteller, a show from 1987 with 23 minute episodes. They're great, uplifting and really take me back. Muppet thumbs up.

6. Lawrence of Arabia- I saw this AFI Number 7 a couple of weeks ago, but during the past couple of days, I decided I will try to write about it. Yay.

7. Blade Runner- AFI Number 97 but considered the best Sci-Fi movie ever. This will have a post of its own.

This sums up my time for the past 48 hours so I apologize for the delay and will have some relevant submissions hopefully by the end of the day, unless I'm distracted again, but I have a feeling you'll get through it.

Bookings out. (Yes, American Idol reference)