I belong to the shrinking population of people who still subscribe to print magazines. Particularly, I like getting my copy of EW in mail every week, even though I find them snarky, biased, and Owen Gleiberman has the worst taste in movies.
Anyway, EW put out their list of 100 best films of all time. Some were inspired choices. Others were obvious, others were awful. Here are a few comments on what they wrote.
#1 - Citizen Kane
I know that this movie is important. It's innovation into what film directing could be cannot be overstated. And Orson Wells performance is a revelation. But the #1 Movie of all time? Sorry, but the film is a technical marvel, but it fails as a narrative. It is boring, with no surprises (since they tell you the entire story in the first 12 minutes).
#2 - The Godfather
I respect this choice. This is a movie whose genius I was slow to recognize, but I am now enthralled by it with each viewing.
#3 - Casablanca
This movie might, in fact, be perfect. I know so many students in my school who have never seen it and are averse to doing so because of its age. But it is timeless. Great writing, great characters, great directing.
#19 - Pulp Fiction
I don't think that this movie is very good in terms of directing. But I respect people who honor its writing and its audacity.
#25 - 2001: A Space Odyssey
This movie is visually stunning, but I HATE THIS MOVIE. It has no story! See my review here. Or my abridged version here.
#32 - Duck Soup
I don't think this is the best Marx Bros. movie, but it is the zaniest. Still holds up.
#41 - The Road Warrior
This one baffles me. There are so many other science fiction and action movies that are MUCH BETTER than this film. I don't know why this ranks so high.
#43 - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
This is the gold standard of fantasy films, matching the record of most Academy Awards. Why so low on the list?
#47 - A Clockwork Orange
This movie, I'm convinced, is on this list for the same reason as Pulp Fiction. But at least Pulp Fiction has some watchable scenes. This is pure dreck. Awful, awful film.
#52 - Titanic
Like LOTR:TROTK, it has the most Oscars. It still carries its same emotional impact.
#53 - The Empire Strikes Back
I'm glad at least one Star Wars movie made it onto the list, but if they were honoring movies for their importance, the original Star Wars deserves a slot.
#56 - Schindler's List
This is an absolute masterpiece that is much better than most of the films that come before it.
# 59 - All the President's Men
Should not be on the list. Boring as heck.
#60 - Rebel Without a Cause
Yes, the imagery is iconic, but the movie is mediocre.
#69 - Dr. Strangelove
#81 - Blade Runner
(see # 69)
#85 - Dirty Harry
#92 The Piano
At this point, the makers of this list have disqualified themselves. This is one of the worst films I have ever seen in the theater. You know you have a terrible film when a full monty-ed Keitel is NOT the low point of your movie. Everything about this film is awful. Pure dreck.
#97 - Diner
I had heard so much about this movie. In fact, I bought it in a discount bin and there was a retrospective at the beginning with the cast. The end of the retrospective had Steve Gutenberg saying, "I guarantee you will like this movie."
Steve Gutenberg lied to me.
Tune in next week when we go over EW's Top 100 Television shows of all time.