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  • Beauty and the Beast 1991

    Watched 30 Aug, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    In which the villagers are portrayed as dumb know nothings and the aristocrats are noble characters. Nothing but bourgeois propaganda!

    ...

    I kid.

    It's hard for me to make arguments in favor of CG animation over traditional animation when this film still looks crisp and fresh 23 years later and something like Shark Tale makes me want to vomit just looking at a screenshot let alone a clip.

    I wish the rental disc I…

  • Bugsy 1991

    Watched 29 Aug, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    I almost don't believe the Barry Levinson that made Rain Man made this as well. Rain Man's simple aesthetic worked in its own way, but by contrast the life and world of Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel is one of old Hollywood glitz and glamour. Where everything has a romantic tinge to it, and life is a fantasy.

    Yet watch Levinson's Bugsy and you get a film that perfectly catches the delusion of Siegel's life. One…

  • The Prince of Tides 1991

    Watched 28 Aug, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    This is not a good movie.

    Much as I would like to, I don't feel compelled to tear this film apart, as it has already mostly faded into obscurity. It's a film that occasionally flirts with complexity (if you took its few good scenes out and made a montage of it you could easily make it all look like a great film) only to fly back down into a simplistic Hallmark romance.

    If you…

  • JFK 1991

    Watched 24 Aug, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    There's a certain amount of bullshit you have to deal with if you're a filmmaker taking a historical subject and making a film based around it to get at a bigger thing. Oliver Stone's JFK isn't even about the Kennedy Assassination conspiracy, it's about what it means to even get caught up in investigating one in the first place.

    If All the President's Men is a film about the paranoia involved yet filtered through…

  • The Blair Witch Project 1999

    Watched 23 Aug, 2014 6

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

  • Dances with Wolves 1990

    Watched 22 Aug, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    The problem with "White Man Goes Native" narratives is that most of them, in their attempt to stay on a racially sensitive line, actually end up becoming "White Man's Burden" narratives in portraying the lead as the Great White Savior of the Noble Savages.

    Only a handful of films have been able to avoid this terrible pit of artistic despair. Lawrence of Arabia constructs such a narrative only to immediately deconstruct it. The Mission

  • Coherence 2013

    Watched 21 Aug, 2014

    If you all had told me this was mumblecore, I would have been able to prepare for this film more. I don't know if I'll ever be able to come to terms with my dislike of mumblecore, as my aversion to it is purely for aesthetic reasons. The only exception is Computer Chess, which is kind of subverting mumblecore anyways.

    But I guess I was kind of okay with this? While I really couldn't reconcile with the faux naturalism that…

  • The Godfather: Part III 1990

    Watched 21 Aug, 2014 1

    *Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Few films have the detriment of having to live up to a predecessor's greatness. Fewer films have had to face the ire, or rather the passive aggressive disregard that has been given to The Godfather: Part III. It is a film that has become a footnote in cinema's history compared to the landmarks the first two films in the trilogy had established.

    Yet it's a film whose vices are rarely ever brought to the…

  • Goodfellas 1990

    ★★★★★ Watched 19 Aug, 2014 6

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    "As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster"

    Who didn't at least at one point in their life? It's a life worthy of envy. You're treated like a king until the day you get pinched for life or end up in a ditch. You never really joined because you knew the scary consequences (that and it's essentially a closed club), but you watched from the outside, whether through…

  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

    Rewatched 16 Aug, 2014 4

    After sitting through the pathetic excuse of a film that was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I felt the need to wash the bad taste out of mouth. I hunted the cinema showings for a decent film that would at least make me forget that I had been cinematically assaulted. Lucy's showings had already dissipated into early morning/late evening showings that didn't work out. I wasn't about to risk getting even angrier by seeing Expendables 3, and the other films playing…

  • Awakenings 1990

    Watched 18 Aug, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    There's a weird specific disconnect where you watch a film that you think is horribly directed yet you like the film anyways. That's kind of what happens with me, Penny Marshall, and about three of her films, including this one.

    To kind of specify just how bad of a director Penny Marshall is, there is a moment in Awakenings where a shot starts on the inside of a room, facing a door. There is…

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014

    Watched 16 Aug, 2014

    There comes a time when you should just say "No."

    "No. I don't want to see this movie. It looks bad, people say it is bad, critics say it's bad, and it's made by people who suck."

    The problem is that you can't trust the marketing. You can't trust other people. You can't trust the critics. You can only count on yourself and the final product as it is shown.

    Which is why I find myself going to see movies…