May 3, 2010

Cine-Smackdown: #71 - #80

The third cine-smackdown, chumps!

71. Saving Private Ryan
72. The Shawshank Redemption
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
The Silence of the Lambs
In the Heat of the Night
Forrest Gump
All the President's Men
Modern Times
The Wild Bunch
The Apartment

I had seen all but three of these (Saving Private Ryan, All the President's Men, The Wild Bunch) which may be my best odds of any cine-smackdown before or to come. I think I had pretty strong reactions one way or the other to almost all these films, so this should be an interesting one.

Of these ten, which would I move further up the list?
I'm probably a little biased here but as far as overall excellence goes, I'm pretty solidly in The Shawshank Redemption's camp. There's something so wonderful about a great story told well, and that's all Shawshank is and/or needs to be.

Of these ten, which would I get rid of?
No question: The Wild Bunch. I had such a hard time getting into that one. It seemed to me like the film was only on this list in recognition of its historical significance regarding violence. That just isn't enough for me. I'd venture to say this was my least favorite film on the list so far. The Apartment is a distant second of these ten.

Who in these movies do I want as my best friend?
Forrest Gump! He seems awesome, and his loyalty is unflinching. Captain John H. Miller (Saving Private Ryan) would do almost anything to protect me, but probably only because he's been ordered to. He also might lead me to my certain death. Red (Shawshank) and The Tramp (Modern Times) probably wouldn't be bad to have there in a pinch.

Who in these movies do I want to have my back in a bar fight?
Virgil Tibbs (In the Heat of the Night) for sure. Maybe not in 1968, but now-a-times. I would say Dr. Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs) because he would scare everyone off, but he would also scare me off. And if my back was turned, I would end up without a back.

Who in these movies is your worst frienemy?
Warden Norton (Shawshank) -- that chump! He'd take advantage of me forever and then kill my only chance at freedom... if I was Tim Robbins. But I can't imagine he'd act any different for me. Deep Throat (All the President's Men) seems helpful but won't show his face. C'mon man! I'd also say Fran Kubelik (The Apartment) -- she seems pretty flighty. If I gave everything I had to her she probably wouldn't care. No, YOU shut up and deal, Fran!

Who do I take home to Mom?
... Private Ryan? Oops. That's the whole point. I would take Clarice Starling (Silence) or Jenny (Forrest Gump) but they've both got too much baggage. C. C. Baxter (The Apartment) is so charming but he's got that cold and I don't want to get sick.

You're going on a date with these movies. Who do you agree to meet for coffee but never call again?
All the President's Men: you seemed interesting but you took yourself too seriously. I need someone with a sense of humor. I know I know, Watergate was important, but it's not really first date talk.

Who do you agree to meet for coffee, and then say you'll call but never do?
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: yeah, I said I'd come to Bolivia with you but... somehow I sense it's not a good idea in the long run. I might bail out like Etta Place... and leave you in that place.

Who do you agree to meet for coffee, and then not show up?
The Silence of the Lambs. You creep me out real bad.

Who do you meet for a first date, ends up staying the night and makes you breakfast in the morning?
C. C. Baxter for sure! And it would be delicious, even if it was just spaghetti. Forrest Gump wouldn't stay the night, but he would make me breakfast for sure. Maybe the medic from Saving Private Ryan.

Who do you meet for a first date, ends up staying the night and then leaves in the morning without saying goodbye ... and steals your favorite sweater?
Kecia had this answer ready: it's Butch Cassidy, or maybe the Sundance Kid. They had somewhere to be.

What other questions would you have asked about these movies? I'd love more ideas! Leave your thoughts, reactions, passionate defenses and harsh critiques in the comments!

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