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  • Jerry Maguire 1996

    Watched 13 Oct, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    One of the lead examples of successful romantic comedies. It's probably even one of the most parodied, with multiple iconic lines and scenes that were already amusing from the beginning.

    I can't tell if Crowe's constantly moving and constantly evolving screenplay is beneficial to the film, but it does make for one of the more unique standard romantic comedies in which the chemistry is for the most part assumed and therefore understated. Besides, its mammoth box office success doesn't lie.

  • It Felt Like Love 2013

    Watched 17 Nov, 2014 1

    Realism is a tricky thing to get right. One wrong step in the narrative, and the whole thing comes crumbling down and poisons whatever emotional truths you do come to communicate.

    I was doing fine with It Felt Like Love up until its last half where it does some crazy things that ultimately contrive the otherwise "real" story being told here. It's insane enough that I believe it might have actually happened in director Eliza Hittman's actual life, but here…

  • Shine 1996

    Watched 13 Oct, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Yeah well you see it's got Geoffrey Rush in it ha he's a bit of schizo lad but what you don't know Shirley is that he's suffered for his art, Rush has, you see Shirley, and he's got an imposing Armin Muehller Stahl over him, father he is, you follow Shirley, and the film Shine that depicts Rush's real life character, that's still Geoffrey, Shirley, is entirely based on the strength of his performance…

  • Secrets & Lies 1996

    Watched 12 Oct, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Mike Leigh is a storytelling genius and I don't know how he pulls tight masterpieces like this out of his ass considering his method of improvisation. Leigh's films feel built into the real world, not just in his visual approach (THIS is how you shoot realism, not that faux documentary crap approach), but his narrative one as well. There's a grounded sense of society and culture here, and a well established history that we're…

  • Braveheart 1995

    Watched 09 Oct, 2014 1

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Yeah it's overlong, considerably melodramatic, and in love with its hero way too much. But I wish half of Hollywood had as much passion for filmmaking the way Mel Gibson does. Gibson's sensibilities are as Catholic as they can be, and the love he has for his metaphorical Jesus Christ is seen not just by his playing him, but on the glory of his suffering. Does it overplay its hand? Undoubtedly. Is it successful in making you feel that glorious catharsis of "Fuck yeah, William Wallace!"? It did for me.

  • In the Time of the Butterflies 2001

    Watched 08 Oct, 2014

    One of the worst TV movies I have ever seen. The acting is subpar, the directing is even worse, and the writing here features some pretty awful dialogue stinkers. Trujillo probably would have been justified in killing the people involved with this, but then again they embarrass themselves enough.

  • Apollo 13 1995

    Watched 07 Oct, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Ron Howard isn't a great director, but at best he's slightly above competent, and with Apollo 13, the spiritual predecessor to Gravity, this is him at one of his better moments. It's a tad overlong, but when it gets going it gets going.

  • The Postman 1994

    Watched 06 Oct, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Il Postino belongs to that family of 90s foreign films (particularly of the Italian variety) that were US family friendly. Yet Il Postino doesn't really sacrifice story nuance for its ready made lack of subtlety. The implications of the story, ultimately about how only the established voices survive while new ones get silenced by history, are rather harsh, and made all the more tragic by the fact that star/writer Massimo Troisi, who made this film his passion project, died shortly after filming was finished.

  • Sense and Sensibility 1995

    Watched 05 Oct, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Might as well be titled "Is there any movie Emma Thompson can't make better?"

    I've never been a fan of Jane Austen, but the work done here by Thompson (who wrote the screenplay) and Ang Lee is pretty subtly miraculous in how they are able to bring this really old material into new life. It screams 19th Century lit with 20th century values. Emma Thompson is amazing here (duh), but so is her supporting cast in a wild train ride of failed and duplicitous romances as all these two sisters have is each other.

  • Babe 1995

    Watched 04 Oct, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Vegan propaganda still can't stop me from wanting to eat pork related products, especially bacon.

  • The Shawshank Redemption 1994

    Watched 29 Sep, 2014 1

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Simultaneously one of the most overrated and underrated films ever made. Overrated in its massive praise as being one of the best films ever made, which it is not in any sense of the word. Underrated in the sense that the massive pieces of criticism devoted to labeling this as an awful movie are equally hyperbolic, and miss what this film does so well.

    What does this movie do well? Blend structured storytelling into…

  • Quiz Show 1994

    Watched 27 Sep, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    It's so slick, stylish, and clean, Martin Scorsese could have directed it (and he's here in a small role). Probably Robert Redford's best effort as a director. He's got a damn strong script here with a damn strong premise, a damn fine cast, and a damn strong will. There are also seeds of Ralph Fiennes' performance here that clearly make it into his M. Gustave in The Grand Budapest Hotel, so vaguely connecting to that film got it more points.

    Also it's got a 50s soundtrack which is a winning ticket in my book.