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BP’s Top 100 Movie List Challenge #86: Manhattan, by Sarah Brinks

21 Feb

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list provided just that challenge.

I am often able to separate the art from the artist, but I don’t think I was successful at this while watching Manhattan. Woody Allen stars in his film about a man in his forties dating a 17-year-old high school girl. The knowledge that not long after filming Manhattan, Allen would go on to date and marry his romantic partner’s adopted daughter, who is 35 years his junior, is too hard to ignore. Regardless of the real-life similarities, watching an adult man date and sleep with a high school student is pretty gross and was a barrier to me enjoying the film.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie List Challenge #87: Some Like It Hot, by Sarah Brinks

18 Feb

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen – the Battleship Pretension Top 100 provided just that challenge.

My only experience with Some Like it Hot before this viewing was on an airplane about fifteen years ago on a high school trip to Hawaii. Needless to say a bunch of teenagers on a plane to a tropical paradise were less than engaged in a black and white film about cross-dressers. Now that I have finally seen it in earnest, I don’t blame teenage me for giving this a miss on the airplane, but I am glad I finally caught up with it.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie List Challenge #88: Ghostbusters, by Sarah Brinks

14 Feb

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen – the Battleship Pretension Top 100 provided just that challenge.

If there was any question that Ghostbusters is a beloved film, one needs look no further than the fan backlash to the 2016 remake, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call. Ghostbusters is a great comedy. The film holds up after over 20 years, but there are some very ‘80’s choices that do age it, especially some of the music and costume choices. The special effects are not great but they add to the film’s charm rather than take away from it.

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Sarah’s Top Ten of 2016

11 Feb

This was an interesting year of movies for me, I made an effort this year to see more documentaries and foreign films and was pleasantly rewarded with some of my favorite movies of the year. This list is of my favorite movies, I never feel qualified to say what is actually “the best” but I know what I like. My criteria is that films had to receive their wide release within the US in 2016.

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BP’S Top 100 Movie List Challenge #89: Finding Nemo, by Sarah Brinks

7 Feb

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen – the Battleship Pretension Top 100 provided just that challenge.

If I had to pick one Disney film to be on this list I think it would have to be Finding Nemo. As I was watching it, I kept asking myself why Finding Nemo stands out so much from the other Disney and Pixar films. I finally decided it was down to two things: water and concise story telling. The tremendous technical achievement of setting the film in a believable ocean environment is only trumped by the achievement of the physically accurate aquarium. Plus it gives them a lot of tropes to play off of, such as the big dumb sharks, cool surfer turtles, and stupid seagulls.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie List Challenge #90: The Player, by Sarah Brinks

6 Feb

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen – The Battleship Pretension Top 100 provided just that challenge.

Robert Altman’s The Player is a Hollywood film about Hollywood filmmaking. Studio VP Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) is receiving threatening postcards from an angry writer. Mill accidentally kills the writer he incorrectly assumes is sending him the postcards. He spends the film wondering if he’ll get away with his crime. This meta-plot leads to some intentional self-criticism, poking fun at Hollywood. The pitches that Mill hears are particularly humorous, then the way some of them come to fruition during the film adds extra comedy.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie List Challenge #91: Solaris, by Sarah Brinks

4 Feb

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have tragically never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list has a good number of films I hadn’t seen before so it is a good source for my challenge.

One of my favorite genres of film is science fiction. I was raised on Star Trek and Star Wars. So Solaris was one of the films on the Battleship Pretension Top 100 list that I was the most excited to finally see. I wasn’t daunted by its nearly three hour run time until I started watching it. The first word that came to mind after finishing the film was: slog. It felt like a chore to get through and I had really force myself to finish it.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie List Challenge #92: Magnolia, by Sarah Brinks

1 Feb

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have tragically never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list has a good number of films I hadn’t seen before so it is a good source for my challenge.

Something interesting is happening as I work my way through the Battleship Pretension Top 100 list, I am noticing how my perspective on some of these films have changed as I have changed as a person. For example with Magnolia, what a difference a decade makes! One of my best friends showed me Magnolia probably nine or ten years ago and I really didn’t like. Just to add a little context I was still living in my home state and very little had happened to me in my life at that point. Now nearly a decade later I have moved to a new state and had many life experiences both positive and negative. In fact the motivating factor for me moving (being laid off from a job when the company went bankrupt) felt like the worst possible thing that could happen and in fact it was maybe one of the best things. That is the essence of Magnolia.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie List Challenge #93: Forrest Gump, by Sarah Brinks

29 Jan

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have tragically never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list has a good number of films I hadn’t seen before so it is a good source for my challenge.

I was a little surprised to see Forrest Gump on this list initially. Then I thought about it and after watching the film again I realized how much Forrest Gump is a part of our share pop culture memory. For example, I have eaten at a “Bubba Gump Shrimp” restaurant, we’ve all shouted “run Forrest, run”, and even said “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get”. It has been endlessly spoofed from Weird Al to Tropic Thunder. So maybe that is why it belongs on this list. In rewatching Forrest Gump I remembered how sweeping and emotional a story it is. Even though I have seen Forrest Gump probably a dozen times I was brought to tears again watching it.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie List Challenge #94: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, by Sarah Brinks

24 Jan

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have tragically never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list has a good number of films I hadn’t seen before so it is a good source for my challenge.

I love westerns. I love the beautiful landscapes, the horse riding skills, the gun slinging, and the idea of carving a life out the barren land or with a gun. It’s a genre I really enjoy. I hadn’t seen Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in over a decade and I had almost no memory for it. I only remembered the bike riding scene to “Rain Drops Keep Falling on my Head”, the iconic ending, and the train car blowing up and all the money raining down. After rewatching it the film I understand why I didn’t remember much, the bulk of the film after the train robbery is just Butch and Sundance running away from the gang of lawmen sent to kill them.

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