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Amélie (2001)
10/10
It deserves all the praise it gets
12 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Amelie follows, well, Amelie! An eccentric, lonely young woman who works in a cafe. I won't say anything more because it would only ruin the fun.

It's very heartwarming, very fun, and you can watch it over and over and over. It's very markedly not of the typical Hollywood persuasion, which makes sense sense as how it's a French film. A breath of fresh air, it should have a prominent place in any film collection.
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Chinatown (1974)
10/10
More of a boxing match than a film.
12 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Just like the plot within, this film is deceptive. You go into it thinking that you'll get just another crime drama, and from the beginning it feels like one. Then you see Hollis Mulwray dead in the reservoir, and all of a sudden it feels like you've gotten a body shot from boxing legend Joe Frazier.

The rest of the film is more of a boxing match between you and the film. You think you've got it figured out, you think you're starting to get some shots on it, but then it gives you another body shot that throws all your conceptions out the window.

And the film never lets up, it just keeps going and going and going. The conspiracy and plot gets thicker and deeper, thicker and deeper. Is it Cross? Is is the real Mrs. Mulwray? The only form of relief, of closure you get from the film is from a scene where Mrs. Mulwray describes a girl who she's keeping away from everyone else as both her "daughter and sister" - I'll let you do the math yourself on that one. I personally don't want to think about it.

Not even the end provides closure. Just as you've started to hope for Mrs. Mulwray and start to relax knowing she's gotten away from a seemingly mentally deranged Mr. Cross, a pistol report rings out and the horn of her car starts to sound.

"Forget about it, it's Chinatown" Jake Gittes is told by his partner as they walk away into the darkness of the night. After seeing the debauchery, the conspiracy, and the crime present in the film, it's almost like he's inviting the audience to "forget about it" as well.
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4/10
Classic 80's
12 February 2018
Is it a masterpiece? No. Does it offer a compelling plot? No. Is it just plain fun? Yes!

Another title in the era of entertainment that was best described as "Fast cars, fast crashes, and fast women". The era that produced such films as Smokey and the Bandit, Convoy, and the Dukes of Hazzard TV show. The era that was pointed more at the blue-collar working class than the white-collar office class or the critic.

It certainly wouldn't hold up to Lawrence of Arabia, Citizen Kane, or any other masterpiece, but it isn't trying to be that. It's just trying to be a fast, fun film that loads of people can enjoy.

Instead of a 5-star wine with a 5-star steak in a 5-star restaurant, this film's more of a greasy burger and fries in a roadside dinor. They both cannot be equaled objectively, but they're both 10/10 stars in their own right.

If I could represent the height of American film, I might choose Casablanca, Citizen Kane, or Ben-Hur. If I could choose a film to show the height of American freedom, to show somebody who wasn't American what American freedom and liberty feels like, I'd choose The Cannonball Run.
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Kin-dza-dza! (1986)
6/10
Quirky
11 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
My first Soviet film, and I hope not the last! A very, very quirky sci-fi film where, like most sci-fi films, somebody's trying to get home but everybody else is stopping him. Except that him is two hims, and these hims can't speak the language, don't know the customs of their unintentional prison, and simply have no idea what's going on. It has spaceships, yes, but comparing them to the Enterprise is like comparing a 1980's Lamborghini to a 1980's Lada. The spaceship in question is a metal shed that seems to float around of it's own accord. And when you step inside, you're greeted with something that looks more like a U-Boat than a spaceship.

Overall, a good film, but not one that I would watch over and over.
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Citizen Kane (1941)
9/10
A Column
11 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Citizen Kane. The name stands like a monolith. And, like a monolith, it isn't very interesting from far away. But once you get up close to it, and see all the cracks and runs and patterns in the rock, then it becomes interesting. Orson Welles used his experience in audio from his radio career to mike up scenes that were never thought possible to mike up. With his film came the idea of a closed-in, lifelike room, rather than the tall, almost infinite ceilings that dominated before.

Kane introduced so many techniques that are still used today, dynamic shots being one of them. It isn't the fastest, the most gripping, the most heart-stopping (except for that one outstandingly sudden parrot), nor is it the most compelling. It's somewhat like a Doric column in this sense. But, when all the other films that get rave reviews have collapsed, this Doric column of film will still be standing strong, and will continue to stand in the centuries to come.

Plus, how many other films can you name where they tell the story after the main character died?
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