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The Hurt Locker (2008)
So many miss the point
The front page review, calling this a "terrible war film" completely misses the point. "The Hurt Locker" has no obligation to be completely realistic, no more so than "Avatar", or "Inglourious Basterds".
Its only obligation is to tell a good story on screen. That it does wonderfully. It's one of the most suspenseful films made in the last few years. It contains some excellent performances.
It's tight, tense,and a damn good film. People who criticize it for its factual inaccuracies shouldn't judge movies, because they are judging art on a completely non-artistic terms. If that was how we judged movies, then every single biopic ever made would, by default, be bad. I shudder to think of a world where movies are judged, not by the quality of their storytelling, but by how well its characters shoot a rifle.
A spectacular visual achievement, held back by hackneyed storytelling
Well, this movie looks astounding. There's no getting around that. Avatar is a technical marvel, a movie aglow in bright, vibrant colors and gorgeous special effects that create one of the more memorable fictional settings in some time: the planet of Pandora.
There, however, lies the film's first stumble. When sci-fi classics like Star Wars and Blade Runner take the time to draw the audience into the world, Avatar gives us a perfunctory introduction, before launching into a clichéd "training montage". There's no nuance to the film's depiction of the planet, or the Na'vi people. I realized with disappointment that the film was treating Pandora as little more than a giant zoo, full of amazing sights that it wouldn't analyze at more than an arm's length. Likewise, the Na'vi people are explored at such little depth that anyone who has seen any movie of this type (The Last Samurai, Dances With Wolves) i.e., "Simple, wise people versus destructive, mindless power" can figure out their lifestyle, motives, and the plot of the film.
And that is where I began to realize that I'd get nothing more from this film than some great eye candy. There isn't a single memorable character in the film. Every single one is a cookie-cutter cliché, and the actors make no attempt to create any kind of individual persona. You have your conflicted hero, your wise scientist, your female interest who will see through the prejudices her family hold against the hero, an evil military man, and a single-minded corporate bigwig. These archetypes can work, but only when given motives beyond the requirements of their cliché.
And so, the result is a movie that is predictable from the first frame, and that features remarkable visuals that could have been so much more. Watching it, I couldn't help but think of Hayao Miyazaki's brilliant Princess Mononoke, which handled similar subject matter with infinitely more nuance and grace. In Miyazaki's film, characters who could be reduced to stereotypes are given complex motives. The battle between good and evil is tempered by multiple shades of grey. And, most of all, Miyazaki takes the time to truly absorb us in the world of his creation, rather than pulling us by the arm to take us to the next plot point.
Despite my many issues with Avatar, I think it's worth seeing for its visuals alone. It really is a great technological achievement. I just wish I had seen in it the great film that so many else have.
Children of Men (2006)
For my money, the film of the decade
This has been a rough decade for film, no doubt. Sequels and remakes ran amok, and works of true originality, artistry, and narrative force are a rarity to be cherished. No film this decade has moved me quite like Children of Men. It's an incredible work of art, a cautionary tale, even a thriller. It incorporates all these elements and pulls them off brilliantly.
Alfonso Cuaron is an exhilarating director. This film is his magnum opus. He commands scenes with incredible power, brilliantly using long tracking shots to create tension as opposed to being self indulgent. He and his writers pulled together a story that wastes nothing, never showing a lack of pulse.
And then, there are those moments of incredible emotional power, scenes that are the payoff of the intricate construction of the film's world and plot. Cuaron pulls them off without manipulation, allowing the simple visceral impact of the scenes provide the punch.
Perhaps this has been a rough decade for films. But watching Children of Men, you wouldn't know it.
Brad Bird and Pixar's best, and that's saying a lot
Ratatouille is the best animated film made in the US since Beauty and the Beast. Believe me, that's not a put down against American animation. Pixar has ensured that America has put out top class films for years now (ever since traditional Disney films have fallen in quality), and Ratatouille is the best one yet.
It is the most mature Pixar film yet. No, not in terms of mature content (it's G-rated through and through) or in thematic elements (there's nothing here that will frighten or confuse the youngsters). Its maturity comes in the form of how Bird is willing to acknowledge that, yes, audiences appreciate smart films. This is a SMART movie. It presents a situation that a weaker filmmaker would exploit for cheap gags and obvious plot turns, and makes a hilarious, touching, and all around extraordinary film out of it. The writing and direction are top notch. The animation is the most gorgeous, some of it the most creative, that Pixar has turned out yet.
Bird combines these elements into an absolutely wonderful film that is unconventional, beautiful, and just plain fun.
Edit- Jackhorrorshow, please watch movies before casting any sort of judgment. You are very, very wrong about this movie's originality.
Around the Horn (2002)
Often hard to stomach
Around the Horn is pretty much proof the sportswriters have no business passing themselves off as experts. Usually, this show's panelists are unbearable to watch. Most of the time they know almost nothing about the subject they're taking a stand on and come off as arrogant fools. The general sense of arrogance is the biggest turnoff. These guys love to hear themselves talk, and they don't care about giving any actual insights to the topics they talk about. The exceptions, as someone mentioned, are JA Adande, Michael Smith, and Tim Cowlishaw. The show is interesting to watch when they're on.
If you want an entertaining sports talk show, wait the half hour until this is over and watch PTI. Wilbon and Kornheiser are smart, funny, and never try to pass themselves off as geniuses. Don't bother with this crap.
3/10, because the show is occasionally good when the aforementioned writers are on.
Marie Antoinette (2006)
Certainly a divisive movie. I thought it was stunning and touching.
Odds are you will either greatly enjoy this film, or leave the theater wondering what the hell the point was. I fall firmly into the first category.
This movie isn't a glorification of superficiality; it's the story of a woman who was taken as a young girl and forced into a society that had no place for depth or feeling, especially for a woman. Thus, she escapes by throwing herself into frivolity. Sofia Coppola does a fantastic job capturing the meandering, shallow, every-day-is-the-same feeling that must have dominated the aristocracy of the time. No, this movie doesn't concern itself with the politics of the day, nor does it blame Marie for not involving herself. This movie may seem at times to be a sequence of pictures, but the point is that that was what life was like for these people; a constant sequence of material possessions and sweet pastries. And Marie was caught in the middle of it all, without an outlet for her feelings, and unable to know any better.
A fantastic movie, and one of the best of the year.
Kaubôi bibappu: Honky Tonk Women (1998)
Three's a crowd
Sorry, I had to use that old cliché.
In the third episode of Cowboy Bebop, we meet the woman who will become the third member of the bounty hunting crew: Faye Valentine.
She's got a mysterious past, immense debts, and is wanted for 6 millions woolongs. She is so deep in debt, a casino owner forces her to work the blackjack tables and pull off an illegal exchange involving a chip that has, well, a very valuable (micro)chip inside it.
Although the whole setup that leads Faye to getting captured by Spike and Jet is a little far fetched in how it unfolds, it's still very entertaining, very funny, and it provides a great introduction to Faye as a character, whose backstory becomes a major part of the story's plot.
Kicking into overdrive
This is the first masterpiece of an episode in a series with several.
In this episode we first meet the main antagonist and Spike's ex-partner in crime, Vicious, and we glimpse some of Spike's dark past. It's the first episode to address this main running storyline: the conflict between Spike and Vicious which will be a dominant presence throughout the series, always looming and occasionally sweeping in as it does here.
Intensely creepy, with a fantastic action sequence at its climax, and not to mention a very funny scene at the end involving Spike and Faye. Damn near perfect in every respect.
Kaubôi bibappu: Stray Dog Strut (1998)
Meet Ein, a normal Welsh Corgi. Well, he SEEMS normal; the pet shop owner sees nothing extraordinary about him. So why is the wanted criminal Abdul Hakim so desperate to get him back after he runs off? Ein is the first new member of the Bebop's crew, to be joined later by Faye Valentine and Radical Edward.
He's a genius of a dog, it turns out, and we follow the chase to claim him in this episode.
Like the Asteroid Blues, it's great entertainment, if not quite as compelling. Meeting Ein, and some humorous moments involving Spike, the dog, and the chase make this a worthy episode.
Kaubôi bibappu: Asteroid Blues (1998)
The start of something unforgettable
Here's where it begins. The series kicks off with this episode, a wonderfully entertaining piece that shows us Spike and Jet by themselves, doing their thing as bounty hunters in the year 2071. As the series' self-contained episodes go (meaning episodes that are not part of either of the series two plot lines), it's one of the strongest. Spike is pursuing a dealer of a new drug which makes its user faster, stronger, his sight keener, and damn near impossible to beat in a fight. There's also the dealer's girlfriend, apparently very pregnant, assisting him with his crimes Simple, entertaining, a great way to kick off the series.
A stunning finale to a brilliant series
What can be said about this, the last episode of Cowboy Bebop? The series, which is so memorable for its combination of great characters, storytelling, and pure fun and action, blends everything into a pot in its finale and goes out with a bang.
It's a show with so many memorable moments, and so many of those moments come in this episode. Just for example; there's a death fairly early on that ends up unveiling the motives of a major character's actions, but not in the sense that you might think by reading these words. The moment his motives are revealed is so well written and executed that it gives one chills.
Another scene has Faye Valentine pleading with Spike not to face his nemesis. In a lesser anime, she'd have fallen in love with him; it'd be force feeding us a motive. This show is intelligent enough, trusts its audience enough, and knows its characters enough to write the scene as it ought to be written; Faye, a character without a past, isn't in love with Spike, but is acknowledging that he and the Bebop crew are all she has. The scene is heartbreaking, and delivered with perfect restraint.
Those are just two moments in this episode. The ending brings even the most jaded fans to tears, and again, not in ways you expect.
A perfect conclusion to a masterpiece series.
Pride & Prejudice (2005)
A fantastic movie- and that's what it is, a movie, not a book or miniseries
People, please, quit sniping about how this movie isn't "true enough" to the book or doesn't match up to the miniseries.
I'm certainly an admirer of the miniseries, but a film that has six hours to tell a story isn't going to be the same thing as a two-hour film. As for the book, never read it, but I also think that a movie has absolutely no obligation to be loyal to source material, only to be as strong a movie as it can be.
Is this movie overly romantic and passionate when compared to the book? Perhaps. But as a romantic film, it is superb. Knightley is mesmerizing on screen. Not just her beauty, but the life she brings to the whole movie. I do hope she receives an Oscar nomination. The supporting players are all fantastic, particularly Sutherland, whose final scene with Knightley is as warm and happy a scene as I can think of in a while, invoking for me a similar scene with Denholm Elliot and Helena Bonham-Carter scene near the end of "A Room With a View". The whole movie is about happiness, and the happiness of its characters. Its goal is to make you care about them and their happiness, and by the end, it's as warm and joyful a movie as you'll see this year.
Does it please Austen-ites? It doesn't matter, if their judgment is by how loyal it is to the book. It's just a plain great movie.
Hoshi no koe (2002)
Beauty in simplicity
What a simple concept for a film, executed so wonderfully. A teenage girl travels in space, and the only way for her to contact the boy she loves back on earth in through her cell-phone's text messaging. But as she drifts further from earth, the messages begin to take a much longer to reach him. He begins to give up on hearing from her again, and she grieves over what she is unable to tell him from this distance. However, the ending is extremely moving and uplifting, more so than I thought this 25-minute film would be.
I need not mention how this film was made, by one man on his computer. While the visuals are surprisingly good for a film made with such sparse resources, Makoto Shinkai clearly understands that storytelling is the most important part of animation, and he made a film that is more beautiful and touching than almost anything you'd see in Hollywood, and he did it on his computer, and with a run time of under a half hour. This guy is talented, and I hope to see him directing more animes in the future.
Voices of a Distant Star is a superb film by any standards, certainly a must see for anime fans.
Mimi wo sumaseba (1995)
They don't get more beautiful
When I first heard of Whisper of the Heart, I didn't feel a significant need to find it and watch it. How good could a teen romance be, a genre that's been beaten to death? Little did I know how much I'd love this film.
I beg of you, don't turn this film away because of the premise, which might strike some as sounding sappy. When Studio Ghibli is involved, you can't go wrong. It's NOTHING like you'd expect from any teen romance from anywhere. Whisper of the Heart has none of that fake, self-indulgent crap that permeates Hollywood, movies about teens that pander to clichés and don't give a damn about real characters or love or true feelings. Whisper of the Heart doesn't fall back on cliché and formula. It's a truly great film. It's a remarkably honest and heartfelt look into a 14-year-old's life, her family and friends, how she falls in love, and there are moments so stirring, so wonderful and yet so simple. Yoshifumi Kondou, the director, showed all the qualities of being a master of animation. It's a real tragedy that he passed away. The film is full of moments that are real and beautiful that use animation, not to exploit the story, but to enhance moments with the simplicity they need in their presentation. And the screenplay, written by the great Hayao Miyazaki, is free from false sentimentality and melodrama. He gives us real characters here, ones so well written that anyone who has been a young teen can relate to them.
Whisper of the Heart is as good an animated film as you'll find. It's a one of a kind anime and it's beautifully done. Are you tired of Hollywood films peddled to you off a studio assembly line? Tired of clichéd romances that have no emotion or humanity?
You want something with real depth, soul, and heart? Seek out Whisper of the Heart. It's beautiful, and refreshingly done. You might just love this film as much as I did.
Sennen joyû (2001)
"Until the day we meet again"
This is a remarkable film, beautiful and heartbreaking.
Millennium Actress's style is strange, but it works. It is a love story through and through, and a wonderful one at that. Using a remarkably original and engrossing form of storytelling the memories of the main character, Chiyoko Fujiwara, are portrayed through her films as her career, life, and memories, memories that may or may not be as they seem, blend into cornucopia of sights and story. We are guided through this woman's life, her career as a movie star, her feud with jealous older actress, her marriage to a scheming director.... and her desperate search for her love. As a girl, she meets and falls in love with a mysterious painter, a fugitive known only as "The Man of the Key". Her memory of this one meeting and her love for him are the heart of the film. Note how little we know or see of the painter though. It plays perfectly with how this film tells its story, and how it portrays Chiyoko's memories. I don't want to reveal exactly HOW it works here, since that would involve spoilers. But nothing is left unanswered in this film, and it never lets up its pace. It's best just to sit back and let the film tell its story.
It all comes to an ending that is heartbreaking yet uplifting, and totally satisfying. This is easily one of the best films of 2003.
Don't let those who call it overrated deter you from seeing this film. See it and make your own mind up. You might just see why it has its well deserved 8.1 rating.
P.S. Pay attention to the music. It's fantastic.
One of the most brilliant and beautiful movies I've ever seen - Spoilers
I'm going to go into some detail about this movie, so please don't read this if you haven't seen it. And if you haven't seen it, go out and rent it right now, and be sure to watch it in Japanese. The Japanese language track has much better voice acting than the dub.
Anyway, I've been reluctant to write a review, simply because I fear that I can't do this film justice. Rather than write a traditional review, I'd like to focus on the main characters.
With this movie, Hayao Miyazaki refuses to give us what we're used to with traditional animated fare. Where we want to see an evil villain, with thousands of mindless followers, he gives us Lady Eboshi, head of the Ironworks. She is very greedy, and her destruction of the environment, as well as her slaying of the Forest Spirit are terrible, but she also cares deeply for her people. Her people truly love her, and it's easy to see why.
Where we are used to seeing either a damsel in distress for our hero to sweep off her feet, or a female lead who is completely noble and kind, he gives us San, the Princess Mononoke. She was abandoned by her family, raised by Moro, a great wolf, and has a deep hatred for humans. Her cause is a just one, she has to defend her home, but her actions are driven by hatred, the same hatred that turns the boars Nago and Okkoto into demons. Never in this film is her hatred justified, and I found it to be frequently contrasted with the forgiveness of the main character, which brings us to Ashitaka.
Ashitaka is the aforementioned main character. He is opposed to killing, but is willing to do so if his life or the lives of the innocent are threatened. In defending his village from the rampaging Nago, he receives a deadly curse. He is, through no fault of his own, thrown into this battle between man and nature, the Ironworks and the forest, Lady Eboshi and San. Unlike Lady Eboshi, he sees the wrong in the wholesale destruction of the forest. Unlike San, he isn't blinded by hate and is willing to forgive.
It is Miyazaki's handling of these characters, and the constant contrast that goes on between them that helps make this film so different from what people are used to with American animation. But my favorite aspect of the film is how Miyazaki handles the character of San. Nature could easily have been represented in this film by some forest creature, but by using San, who hates humans, but is a human herself, he creates a whole new angle. She is a human, but she no doubt has ever had any emotional contact with a human, other than feelings of hatred. When Ashitaka tells her she's beautiful, her reaction is one of fright, like a scared child. Mind you, when he tells her this, he is badly wounded and she is holding a blade to his throat. As she develops feelings of love for Ashitaka, she starts to deny them. It is also made clear, at least to me that she is not a heroine, not if heroines are just. Granted, as I said before, her cause is just. But she has no problems with killing humans in cold blood. Down to the very end she refuses to forgive humans. Again, one might say that her feelings are justified, but they do contrast with Ashitaka, who is very forgiving. When Lady Eboshi is wounded by Moro, Ashitaka brings her to safety. San wants to kill her as she lies helpless and when Ashitaka stops her, she goes through a breakdown and stabs Ashitaka (not badly) with a dagger. That dagger is very symbolic. It was a dagger that he gave to her as a gift of his love for her, a dagger that was given to him by his sister as he left his village, never to see his people again. She wants to use to kill, and then stabs him with it.
Really, the whole contrast can be summed up by when Ashitaka says to Lady Eboshi that he has come "to see with eyes unclouded." San's eyes indeed are clouded.
Anyway forgive me for focusing so much on this aspect of the film. I don't mean to make San look like a villain. She isn't. However, people constantly talk about the message this film wishes to send, a warning about mindless destruction of the environment, which is a message the film sends. But I rarely see anyone mention the faults of San and the destruction caused by hate.
That's the brilliance of the film. Ashitaka is an innocent hero, thrust into this world where neither side is completely wrong and both sides are driven by an evil, the humans by pure greed, the residents of the forest by pure hate. Ashitaka's pleas for peace fall on deaf ears, with both sides accusing him of supporting the other. It all culminates in a climax in which both sides end up suffering, and ends without offering a straight "and they both lived happily ever after" answer. But what it does offer at the end is a glimmer of hope. And that, I think, is the ultimate message of the film. Despite the greed and hatred, and the destruction caused by them, you can never give up, and good will overpower evil. This is a truly incredible film.
A journey I'll never forget
Possible spoilers ahead.
When I rented "Spirited Away", I was unsure about all the hype I've heard about it, about it being an utter masterwork. Hayao Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke" is one of my favorite movies and I didn't know how he could top it. But did he ever. I'm at a loss for words. Mastery doesn't begin to describe this. It's too bad that this is Miyazaki's, I believe, last film. Today, CGI is all the rage, and many believe that the days of traditional animation are coming to an end. But "Spirited Away" is a movie that could never be done with computers. Sure, it'd be crisper looking, technically "better looking". But CGI would ruin the subtlety, the
simplicity that makes it so brilliant. Don't get me wrong, CGI has rightly earned a place in the film industry. But I hate the idea of all animation being CGI.
Anyway, back to the movie. "Spirited Away", is so remarkably beautiful is so
many ways. On shot that got to me in particular was when Chihiro, after being shown what has happened to her parents by her friend, Haku, is walking away.
After crossing a bridge, she looks back, and Haku has transformed into a
dragon. We can see him, but only at a distance, like how we'd see a majestic
eagle, framed against the sky. This shot is too simple and beautiful for words. Nothing in this is too bombastic, nothing overdone, and for two hours and takes us on an amazing journey that only a master of animation, like Miyazaki, can
take us on. I'll never forget watching "Spirited Away" and I beg anyone who has bothered to read this review to watch this movie as soon as possible. I doubt you'll forget either.
Gone with the Wind (1939)
The greatest achievement in movie history. Possible spoilers.
No movie in history caused as much a stir when it came out as Gone With the
Wind, and no movie since has come close to it's massive success. For my
money, it's the best movie ever made. I won't go into the story or film making or anything since you no doubt know everything about Gone With the Wind by
now. But one thing I can't resist mentioning is the brilliant performance by Vivien Leigh. I never fail to be blown away by it. Ironically, it is this performance that is cause for it's unforgivable 8.0 rating on IMDB. I mean that it's far too low. Many people can't stand the character of Scarlett O'Hara and vote the movie lower
because of that, since the movie lives and dies with her. However, I think those people get it wrong. They seem to think that you're SUPPOSED to like Scarlett. I never really liked Scarlett O'Hara. She's incredibly selfish, spoiled, and naive. That's sort of the purpose of Mellie's character, to highlight all that's wrong with Scarlett. But I can't help but admire her tenacity, her absolute desire to survive and to make it. It takes the death of her best friend and the only man she truly loved, Rhett Butler, leaving her in the end for her to realize her flaws, and it is the ending that is best of all. She finally grew up. Many view the ending as
tragic, but it fills me with hope. You know that once Scarlett puts her mind to something, she'll get it.
The Sting (1973)
The Sting isn't the kind of movie that you watch and are completely mesmerized by. You aren't blown away by anything, though the costumes and sets are fantastic. The Sting, quite simply, wants to entertain you, while offering a very interesting plot. This is where it succeeds, as you'll be hard pressed to find a movie that combines fun and a great plot as well as writing than The Sting. I won't go into details, but this is a movie you should watch beginning to end, with no interruptions. Otherwise, you will probably miss some important details. But let me tell you, I got sucked right in, all the way to a great ending which I won't spoil for you. It's just a wonderful movie. Believe me, you will be engrossed and entertained at the same time.
The Princess Bride (1987)
If I could make just one movie in my lifetime, I'd want to make a Princess Bride
Sure, I'd like to direct a Godfather or a Psycho, but I am yet to see a movie more enjoyable than the Princess Bride. This is a wonderful movie. What sets it apart is that it doesn't take itself too seriously, yet isn't corny either. The script is full of wit and humor and the romance doesn't come across as uncomfortable like it did in, say, Spider-Man, but instead as another very nice aspect. The performances are just as they're supposed to be. Like the script, not too serious without being corny. Just the right balance. If you haven't yet seen The Princess Bride, than you are truly missing out on a fantastic movie.
The Elephant Man (1980)
A remarkable film
The Elephant Man is one of my favorite films. The film's main highlight is the incredible performance by John Hurt. It is heartbreaking and touching at the
same time. Some of the scenes in the film are incredibly hard to watch, when the worst of humankind is shown being as cruel as possible. As a result you may
find The Elephant Man depressing, however, I see it on the contrary. I find the film to be a brilliant, touching work portraying a man desperately trying to be accepted in a prejudiced society. Watch it and make up your own mind.
Oh, by the way, don't mind the fact that Mel Brooks produced. He actually had his name removed from the credits, fearing that the public would not take the movie seriously if his name was there. It is NOT a Mel Brooks- type movie.
Jurassic Park (1993)
Fantastic. A personal favorite of mine.
I went to see Jurassic Park when it came out nine years ago. I was
very small and really into dinosaurs and thought it was the best
movie ever. It was scary, enthralling, and the closest I'd ever get to
the real thing. Now, as the years have passed, the special effects
are no longer elite, not by a long shot, and the scares have died
down from multiple viewings. But to this day I still get the same
thrill whenever I watch it. It is one of the few movies that I never get
tired of watching. For that it is one of my favorite films and it is as
much fun as you'll ever have watching a movie.
The Ring (2002)
A gem. A great, chilling, movie with an unexpected twist of an ending
I went to see The Ring not knowing what to expect. However, it's
high 8.1 rating encouraged me. To say the least, I wasn't
disappointed. As you may know, the premise of the movie revolves
around a disturbing video tape and anyone who watches it dies. I
won't delve too deep into the plot. The movie revolves around
Naomi Watts' character, Rachel, and her investigation into the
contents of the tape and their origin, after she herself watched the
it. Her niece and her friends had all watched the tape earlier and
all died suspiciously. As she investigates further, we discover
more and more about the story behind the video and eventually we
reach a frightening and unexpected climax with a brilliant ending
with a major red herring.
The performances were fine on all accounts. Ms. Watts is superb,
a real talent. She isn't quite as good, in my opinion, as, say, Nicole
Kidman in The Others, but the entire film rests on her performance
and she delivers. The story is superb, though I suppose I should
attribute much of this to the original filmmakers. I haven't seen the
original, Japanese version but I suppose that they didn't muddle
too much with the original formula.
Anyway, on the not-that-good side, the ending left a lot open to
interpretation. Almost too much, but not so much that it ruins the
film. Not by any means. So please don't let this keep you from
All in all, I found The Ring to be a fun, often very frightening film that
is well worth seeing for any movie fan.
La vita è bella (1997)
Beautiful and touching. One of my favorite movies ever.
I can't say enough about Life is Beautiful. It is simply the most touching and incredible movie I've ever seen. The highlight of this movie is Roberto Benigni who won a well deserved Oscar for his performance. Some people seem to have taken the movie's humor the wrong way, thinking it is making light of the horror of the Holocaust. Don't listen to them. It is very touching and the end will surely make even the toughest movie goer, like me, tear up.
Great, and something about the top 250
I'd like to say something about the top 250. People always mistake it as a best films of all time list. Honestly, if asked which is the greater film, the Lord of the Rings or Gone With the Wind, I'd say Gone with the Wind, hands down. But I like to watch Lord of the Rings more. That's part of the reason it rates so high while GWTW isn't even in the top 100. This list is really the top 250 most popular films right now than the top 250 films ever.
Anyway, this movie is fantastic. While it isn't perfect, there are no major flaws either. Everything is top notch and it's 13 Oscar nods were well deserved (I haven't seen A Beautiful Mind, In the Bedroom, or Gosford Park so I can't say whether it should have won though). It totally captures the essence of the books and their epic scale. I thought it would be tough to make the Fellowship of the Ring into a good movie, it's the least, how do I say it, fun, of the trio, and Peter Jackson has totally succeeded. I can't wait for the next two.