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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #71: Network, by Sarah Brinks

13 Apr

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 has a good number of films I hadn’t seen before so it is a good source for my challenge.

I saw Network for the first and only time in a film studies class in college. I liked it and we discussed it academically but I didn’t really appreciate it at the time. After college, I spent a significant portion of my career working at various television affiliate stations. I have spent most of my career studying and analyzing Nielsen ratings. As you might imagine, I had a very different experience watching Network this time. I brought a lot of industry knowledge to this movie that I simply didn’t have when I was first learning about media in my early college years and I enjoyed it even more as a result.

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BP’s Top 100 Challenge #72: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Sarah Brinks

11 Apr

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 has a good number of films I hadn’t seen before so it is a good source for my challenge.

I haven’t seen or read To Kill a Mockingbird since my high school English class, and it wasn’t a story I responded to at that point in my life. I’m glad that this challenge gave me a reason to return to this film because I had a much better response to it this time around.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #73: Aguirre, the Wrath of God, by Sarah Brinks

8 Apr

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 such a challenge.

This is the first time I have seen Aguirre, the Wrath of God and it was everything I expected from a Werner Herzog film. It was epic in scope, brutally realistic, and dramatic. I knew the basic story line of the film, a group on Spanish conquistadors search for El Dorado but I didn’t expect so much attention paid to the legality of their actions. They even had a small trial in the middle of the jungle. I also assumed from the title that Don Lope de Aguirre would play a more central role in the film but he doesn’t take center stage, if you will, until the final third of the film. By that time, he has gone completely crazy.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #74: Raging Bull, by Sarah Brinks

4 Apr

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 such a challenge.

Raging Bull is a film I respect but I don’t actually like it very much. I feel that way about most of Martin Scorsese’s films. He is a director I have a lot of respect for but he does not make films that appeal to me for the most part. Raging Bull is expertly made and beautifully shot in black in white and the story is dramatically compelling but it is about terrible people and a sport that I abhor.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #76: Last Year at Marienbad, by Sarah Brinks

31 Mar

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 has a good number of films I hadn’t seen before so it is a good source for my challenge.

It took me a little time to get used to watching Last Year at Marienbad. The chateau where the film takes place seems to exist outside of normal time and space. People freeze in the middle of conversations, or seemingly change places in a room without moving. And it always seems to be the same time of day throughout the film. It is always evening. Everyone is in tuxedos, suits, and gowns. They are always drinking, dancing, and playing cards. Once I settled into the rhythm of the film, I began to enjoy it.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #75: Duck Soup, by Sarah Brinks

28 Mar

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 such a challenge.

Duck Soup was my first Marx Brothers film and I think it will be my last. I like to try and find positive things about all the movies I watch for this challenge, so we’ll start there. I have to give the Marx Brothers credit for their ability to do physical comedy. There was a scene where Chico, Harpo, and a merchant keep swapping hats and it is quite skillful and funny. Probably the best scene in the film is when Groucho and Harpo are dressed identically and do a choreographed mirror scene. It is completely silent and a delightful several minute-long break in the film.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge: The Bridge on the River Kwai, by Sarah Brinks

25 Mar

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.

One of the reasons I undertook this challenge was to see films I have never seen before but always wanted too. The Bridge of the River Kwai is one of those films. It was also a film that I knew a surprising amount about despite never having seen it. I had seen the big train crash before and the classic whistling soldier’s scene.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #78: Blade Runner, by Sarah Brinks

21 Mar

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.

I’m hoping this is a safe space because I must admit that this was first time I had ever watched Blade Runner in its entirety. I had tried watching it once before and gave up. I feel like I had gleaned a lot of the plot from pop culture, but it was good finally see it. And just to be clear I watched the ‘Final Cut’ version of the film.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #79: Badlands, by Sarah Brinks

18 Mar

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.

Terrence Malick’s films are usually hit or miss with me and Badlands, his first feature length film, was a miss. One thing that I struggle with in film is when characters don’t seem to care about anything. Badlands is a great example of characters like this. Sissy Spacek watches her father get gunned down in front of her and she has less of a reaction then when her dad shot her dog earlier in the film. Martin Sheen’s Kit, who does the shooting, seems to barely care. Even the people that Kit shoots barely seen inconvenienced by it. He shoots his old garbage route buddy Cato, who just lies down in bed and checks himself out in the mirror while bleeding to death. If the characters don’t even care about their own deaths, how is the audience supposed to get invested?

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #80: Sunrise, by Sarah Brinks

14 Mar

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.

As I make my way through the Battleship Pretension Top 100 list, I am often delighted by how many different types of films are on the list. I was delighted that this week included a silent film I had never seen. Admittedly the silent era is not one I regularly seek out for my own personal viewing but I enjoy silent films and it is always good to look back at the early days of film. F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise is an excellent example of silent filmmaking. Though this was released the same year as The Jazz Singer, Sunrise is delightfully silent.

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