Okay, so for those of you out of the loop, this post might seem kind of random, but let me explain with the use of several important links. You see, it all began in July during my Blogiversary Bash with this Star Wars challenge from MovieRob. It was a tough challenge for even the nerdiest of nerds, but one true Jedi emerged victorious: Table 9 Mutant of Cinema Parrot Disco. Her well-earned reward was to choose three movies for myself and three movies for Rob to watch, all of which she announced here. Rob has already gotten to his. Spoiler alert: he hated them. Sorry, Rob. Lol. However, I’m very happy to report that Mutant could not have chosen a better bunch of movies for me because I loved mine. Seriously, A+, girl. You totally get me. These were all amazing films in their own particular ways. Let’s talk about ‘em!
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Synopsis: “Upon admittance to a mental institution, a brash rebel rallies the patients to take on the oppressive head nurse.” –www.imdb.com
What I thought: This was a film I’d had on my radar for some time, and oh man. I did not expect it to be so full of FEELS. My limited knowledge of One Flew of the Cuckoo’s Nest was pretty much flipped on its head once I watched this. I don’t know why I thought this film was a more lighthearted affair, but, as most of you probably already know, I was super wrong. However, that’s not to say that I didn’t think this one was great. In fact, I thought it was fantastic. Jack Nicholson, who usually plays such jerks, gets to play…well, McMurphy’s still kind of a jerk, isn’t he? Haha. But a very likable jerk who breathes new life into the mental institution he’s sent to. When it’s all said and done, McMurphy definitely goes too far, but he makes a really sweet effort to shake up the dull daily routines and give his fellow patients a little excitement in their lives. And then there’s Nurse Ratched. Can we talk about her a minute? When this film started, I didn’t really see why people hated her so much. “She’s just doing her job,” I thought. But then she kept pushing people too much during group therapy sessions. And then I realized she’s kind of heartless. And then how she treats poor Billy…Yeah, she’s a monster. A perfect performance from Lousie Fletcher, but a monster. But back to Billy! Brad Dourif as Billy! I’m used to Dourif playing creepers, but he is SO FRIGGIN’ SWEET in this movie! I couldn’t get over it. Why doesn’t Dourif get to play characters like this more often? As for the ending to this—awful and triumphant and perfect all in one. It’s really powerful. There’s a lot to admire here, but the performances and the story itself are what really struck me. I think this is Nicholson’s best work. I should’ve watched this one ages ago.
My Grade: A
City Lights (1931)
Synopsis: “With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.” –www.imdb.com
What I thought: I am woefully ignorant when it comes to the best of the silent film world, but I had heard of City Lights, and I had wanted to catch it at some point because I do quite like Charlie Chaplin. While the world’s sense of humor has certainly changed in the past 80+ years, I consider Chaplin’s work pretty much timeless. In his case, funny is just funny. The man was a master of physical humor, and he proves that in this film, which is basically one hilarious, ridiculous situation after another. Chaplin’s iconic Tramp is arguable one of the most lovable characters in film history, and this film makes him more lovable than ever as he befriends a drunk millionaire and pines after a blind flower girl. That last bit is what gets you—especially in the end. I mentioned the ending of the last film being great, but, honestly, I think this one beats even that. It’s so sweet and sincere that it’ll kind of break your heart. I actually got a little choked up watching it, and any of you who know me know that I don’t get like that much. But the Tramp is so selfless when it comes to this girl that if you don’t feel something when you see them in the end, then you’re probably made of stone. My qualms with this one are minimal—just that a few of the funny moments dragged on a bit, unnecessarily repeating four or five times. There’s definitely humor in repetition, but too much repetition does more harm than good, I think. Still, I thought this film was a gem. Chaplin’s outrageous physical humor and perfect use of facial expressions give this film just as much life—if not more life—than many of the talkies that followed.
My Grade: A-
The Terminator (1984)
Synopsis: “A human-looking indestructible cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.” –www.imdb.com
What I thought: Yep. I finally watched it. People have been giving me grief over this one for some time, so it was actually kind of a relief when Mutant shook her finger at me and said, “Cara, you have to watch this right now or we can’t be friends anymore.” …Okay, so she didn’t actually say that, but she made it clear that The Terminator was an important film for me to see. So I watched, not really knowing how I’d react to it. But guys, this one was awesome. I understand now why it’s such an iconic action/sci-fi film. It has nonstop action, a great pair of leads, an interesting premise, and, of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger in his coolest role ever. It’s just a whole bunch of fun. One of the things that surprised me was how much of a focus there is on Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). I’d heard about her, but even in this film—when she is thrust into a crazy situation that she barely understands—she is a true badass. I loved that she was such a tough leading lady. Also, Mutant, I totally get your crush on Michael Biehn now. Total babe. As Reese, a soldier sent from the future to protect Sarah, he’s tough, too, but he’s also very sweet. I thought the chemistry between the two actors was great. And, of course, it goes without saying that Arnie is the most amazing cyborg ever. He was basically born to play the role. There are very minor things that bugged me a bit. I didn’t quite buy the whole (spoilers) “falling in love looking at a picture” thing (end spoilers). Also, the cops who shoot at the Terminator? The worst. It’s like, they shoot, then rather than immediately ducking for cover, they basically stand in the hallway and wait to get shot. C’mon, guys. Still, those are literally my only qualms. Everything else I loved. In fact, I already want to watch this again!
My Grade: A
Basically, Mutant is my spirit animal. Thank you so much for a trio of great movies, lady! P.S. I did not get to Cinema Paradiso, but I haven’t forgotten it! I’m going to try to get to it soon. Otherwise, it shall be added to my Resolutions list. 🙂
Have an excellent weekend, everybody!