Movies for Mutant!


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)

one flew over the cuckoo's nest

Synopsis: “Upon admittance to a mental institution, a brash rebel rallies the patients to take on the oppressive head nurse.” –

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)

city lights

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.” –

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)

terminator poster

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.” –

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!

25 thoughts on “Movies for Mutant!

  1. Oh my god Biehn is so hot in that picture… CARA! I knew I chose excellent movies but I still wasn’t quite sure if you’d feel the same way about them. I’m so happy you loved them as much as I do! 🙂 Let’s see: Cuckoo’s Nest – I’m so glad you’ve experienced this one now. Definitely powerful & one of my favorite endings ever (along with City Lights & Cinema Paradiso. I’m clearly a sucker for a good ending!). What a classic. It’s one of those rare occasions where I prefer the movie to the book. Yeah – it’s the ending of City Lights that gets me. I may be a cold-hearted bitch but that ending really got to me. 😉 If you like Chaplin’s humor, Modern Times is a better film overall. It’s brilliant. Check it out! And, finally: The Terminator! Wasn’t 100% sure if you’d go for it. Luckily, you have awesome taste. I assume you’ll be watching T2 now?? You can honestly stop after that one. And, yes – now you see why I’m so in love with Kyle Reese. As for your picture thing, this is my reply: I think, seeing him trying to survive that bleak, horrible future, it was easy for me to understand him falling in love with a photo. He had nothing else. No possessions. No one to love. And it was a photo from a time before life was so awful so he’ll be drawn to that as well. I actually found it incredibly romantic. But… I’m kind of weird. 😉 I’ll shut up now. So glad you liked these! 🙂

    • Omigosh! It’s been a while since I’ve had to tackle a comment this long! Hahaha. Well, I’m happy that you are so happy with my reactions! You clearly know me well to pick films that I enjoyed so much. I thought you’d appreciate that Biehn pic. He is DEF a cutie. 😀 But yes the ending to Cuckoo’s Nest and City Lights! Cuckoo’s Nest mostly made me sad, but City Lights made me feel all the feels! I’m part of that Stonecold Bitch club we formed, but I almost broke our no crying code with City Lights by getting a little misty-eyed. I will have to look into Modern Times. And I def need to watch T2 now because I lurrrrved Terminator! I guess when you put it that way the picture thing makes more sense. Honestly, I think the cop thing bothered me more than that. Haha. But, clearly, it didn’t bother me that much because I still loved it. 😀 Thank you so much for these, lady!!! I need to have you pick movies for me to watch more often!!!

  2. Cuckoo’s Nest is pretty good, and Im really surprised you have not seen Terminator Before. Agreed the cops were kind of dumb but that’s ok if they are going to be shot at Um yes for sure see number 2 and then you can stop right there. I have not seen City Lights but I do like Chaplin in The Kid and Modern Times. Great post

    • Thanks, Vern! I thought Cuckoo’s Nest was fantastic. And Terminator, too! Yeah, it was just one of those that was around before I was born and my friends/family never got me interested in the franchise. Now, obviously, I’m gonna have to remedy that. Lol. Definitely watch City Lights. It’s worth it for the ending alone!

  3. An excellent write-up of three good movies (though I personally hate Cuckoo’s Nest, even if the acting is great). Like Mutant said, sure people can fall in love with pictures. Like in Somewhere in Time.

    • Thanks! You hate Cuckoo’s Nest? Interesting. I think that’s the first negative response to it I’ve heard! I’m afraid the Somewhere in Time reference is lost of me. I’ve never even heard of it. Lol.

      • I’m not a big fan of McMurphy’s antihero, and even if she’s cruel, Nurse Ratched isn’t that bad. I still can’t believe that AFI ranked her as the #5 movie villain, ahead of the Terminator! I’d highly recommend Somewhere in Time though, especially if you’re ever in a romantic crying mood. Not that I ever am… 😉

        • I could understand not liking McMurphy, but I don’t know, man…Nurse Ratched is pretty evil, but in a much more subtle way than the Terminator. I am pretty much never in a romantic crying mood, so I doubt that’ll be high up on my list…but thanks for the suggestion! Haha.

  4. Great reviews Cara! u lucked out and were given movies to enjoy, not suffer thru. The good thing is that I only HATED HATED HATED one of them and enjoyed the other two despite mutanat wanting me to suffer.

    T1 is great and I think T2 is one of the very few sequels to be slightly better than the original. So you should try to get to it one of these days.

    City Lights is a great Chaplin movie. Loved it both times that I’ve seen it

    • Well, Rob, this is the problem with reviewing so many movies and then asking people to pick things for you–it doesn’t leave many options! Lol. 😉 I’m excited about catching T2! I hear so many great things! Yes, City Lights was wonderful. If I had to do a top 10 favorite endings list, I think City Lights would be a contender.

  5. Pingback: September 2015 Favourites | FILM GRIMOIRE

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