16. Rear Window (1954)
As his broken leg heals, wheelchair-bound L.B. Jeffries becomes absorbed with the parade of life across the courtyard: A dancer, a lonely woman, a composer and a bedridden woman and her husband become like creatures in his voyeuristic zoo. But when one of them disappears, Jeffries suspects foul play — and suddenly he finds himself in the center of the action with nowhere to run.
K and I decided to watch this one during one of our days off. The beginning dragged a bit, but once the story was in place the drama started to add up. We especially liked the ending. Enjoyable but only once…
# 173. The Thing (1982)
Kurt Russell leads a team of American scientists at a base in Antarctica. Their uneventful lives are disrupted by a group of Norwegians in a helicopter firing at a lone dog. When the chopper crashes, the dog moves in with the scientists. During the night, the canine metamorphoses and attacks other animals at the base and members of the team, who soon discover that an alien that can take any shape is in their midst.
I decided to watch this movie when K was taking a nap. Usually I don’t want thriller/horrors on my own because I like to cuddle up to him when I get scared. Well this movie is full of suspense, frightening, the creature effects are disgusting and it had me jumping out of my seat. A good watch if you want to see something a bit dated but still great even now.
# 41. Vertigo
James Stewart plays a retired acrophobic police detective who is hired by an old friend to follow his wife, whom he suspects of being possessed by the spirit of a dead madwoman. The detective and the disturbed woman fall (“fall” is indeed the operative word) in love and…well, to give away any more of the story would be a spoiler. The story is about a tragic love affair, murder, and madness.
This movie is a classic! Alfred Hitchcock is truly the master of suspense. I wasn’t sure at first if I would really like the movie, but the more I watched the more I was drawn into the plot and the characters. I thought James Stewart was amazing and is able to express so many emotions with just the look in his eyes, fear, longing, love, desperation, anger, and finally total despair. I would recommend anyone who likes Hitchcock to definitely pick this one up!
# 235. Network (1976)
Network” takes the viewer inside of a major television network, UBS, during the 1970s. Their prime time newscaster has just received word from his boss that the network is terminating his contract due to low ratings. Perturbed about leaving his position, and with nothing else in life to live for, the newscaster breaks down on television and promises his audience that he will kill himself on live television. When the newscaster get his own television show he goes off on a rants about the sicknesses of American society. His most famous line is: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.”
The script was brilliant and so is the acting. This movie will change the way you look at television because it will change what you think about television. Shockingly funny at times about what a network will do to boost its ratings. Even though the movie is somewhat dated its messages are clear.
# 111. The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
In this remake of the 1962 political thriller, Capt. Bennett Marco (Denzel Washington) and Sgt. Raymond Shaw (Liev Schreiber) are taken captive during the first Persian Gulf War and brainwashed so that they’re programmed to rebel once they return home. Ten years later, as Shaw’s mother (Meryl Streep) is busy helping her son in his bid for the presidency, Marco recalls the brainwashing. Can he get to Shaw before it’s too late?
The movie was well acted and directed, with a nice plot, and a bit slow paced. It is straight-forward and predictable. It’s a fun thing to watch, but there is nothing here to make you think…just the standard remake.
**Now I happen to be able to see two movies today. The second movie K and I decided on was Repo! The Genetic Opera (which is not on the 250 movie list). In Repo the near future has a biotech company that saves mankind with synthetic replacements for failed organs. Those who default on their new organ are subject to repossession. The movie is set to a number of catchy songs in this tongue-in-cheek opera. If you are looking for a movie that is totally out of the norm this is it. K and I loved it.
# 193. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Three friends are in a bind; they owe seedy criminal and porn king “Hatchet” Harry a sizable amount of cash after Eddie loses half a million in a rigged game of poker. Hot on their tails is a guy named Big Chris who intends to send them all to the hospital if they don’t come up with the cash in the allotted time. Add into the mix an incompetent set of ganja cultivators, two dimwitted robbers, a “madman” with an afro, and a ruthless band of drug dealers. Before the boys can blink, they are caught up in a labyrinth of double-crosses that lead to a multitude of dead bodies, copious amounts of drugs, and two antique rifles.
I read about this movie before I decided to see it and everyone had hyped it up to be a Tarantino wannabe. I am a really big fan of Tarantino but not really a big fan of Guy Ritchie so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The movie had some great performances and was entertaining (as long as you like a bit of black humor and a bit of violence). I feel though that some people might have trouble following some of the speedy conversations (thick English accents with a bit of slang). All and all it was an interesting watch.
*Looking forward to seeing what Ritchie does next with RocknRolla.
# 151. Ratatouille (2007)
The movie is set in Paris, where some of the world’s most famous chefs have launched their careers. Remy, a rat, has a gourmet nose and amazing culinary skills. Sadly, his dreams of becoming a chef seem pretty farfetched due to the limitations of his species. However, Remy eventually teams up with Linguini, a young man who lands a job as a garbage boy in one of the most famous restaurants in Paris. Linguini is quite possibly the worst cook ever, but he and Remy devise a method of working together in the kitchen: Remy hides under Linguini’s white chef’s hat and tugs on the boy’s hair to give him commands. As a result, Linguini quickly becomes one of the most sought-after cooks in all of Paris, with a lot of help from his “little chef.”
Although I was a little put off by the amount of rats in Ratatouille (duh of course the whole story revolves around them) I throughly enjoyed the movie. I just loved the way the whole movie came together. Setting it in Paris, France was just a sight to behold. The animation looked great and the characters were memorable.
# 207. Dial M for Murder (1954)
Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece of double-cross and intrigue stars Ray Milland as former tennis champ Tony Wendice, who concocts a plan to kill his rich and philandering wife, Margot Mary (Grace Kelly), who’s embroiled in a heated affair with a writer, Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings). When Tony’s plans go awry, he improvises with a second act of deceit, but the entire affair turns out to be far messier than he expected.
This is a good movie. I can see how this movie is a classic. Alfred Hitchcock did a wonderful job in the setting the story and he created a mysterious, very well paced, twisted plot full of never-ending suspicion. Even though you know what is going to happen and when it is going to happen in this film, it still makes you wonder what could go wrong in the thought to be flaw-less murder plan.