November 17, 2011

Cine-Smackdown: #11-#20

Only ten left to go! This impossible-seeming task is seeming less and less impossible. Now that I know for sure I'll get to the end, I'm not so worried about how fast I can get there. My goal was initially a year, and then it was two years, and now that I'm six weeks from the end of the second year and I have only ten movies left, I sort of want to take my time and not rush through for the sake of an artificial deadline.

11. City Lights  
12. The Searchers
13. Star Wars
14. Psycho
15. 2001: A Space Odyssey
16. Sunset Blvd.
17. The Graduate
18. The General
19. On the Waterfront
20. It's a Wonderful Life

I had not seen City Lights, The Searchers, 2001: A Space Odyssey (in its entirety), The General or On the Waterfront previous to the blogviews.

Of these ten, which would I move further up the list?
Oh man. This is hard. Probably Sunset Blvd. just for the classy Hollywood story. Everything else has something working against it (2001 is a masterpiece but weird and occasionally difficult, Psycho is genius but Hitchcock has so many brilliant films it's hard to rule absolutely on which is best, etc.) It's pulpy and dramatic, and that screenplay is a master stroke.

Of these ten, which would I get rid of?
This is easier, and more predictable for me: The Searchers. Someday I'll have to go back and really analyze the Western but of all of them on the list this one just didn't do much for me. It felt so dated that it's only nostalgia that keeps it here.

Who in these movies do I want as my best friend?
The Tramp (City Lights) might accidentally shove me into a river as I'm trying to commit suicide, but at least he saved me... accidentally.

Who in these movies do I want to have my back in a bar fight? Arbogast (Psycho) is one smart cookie, he'd know just what to do... but for overall toughness, the boys from On the Waterfront probably couldn't be topped.

Who in these movies is your worst frienemy?
Umm: the millionaire in City Lights -- he only remembers me when he's drunk, then kicks me out in the morning! So schizo.

Who do I take home to Mom?
Han Solo (Star Wars) is dashing and rocks the 70s do all over the galaxy. George Bailey (It's a Wonderful Life) is much the same but has some major demons... and the general (The General) is a little too straight-faced for me. Lighten up! I don't know. Options.

You're going on a date with these movies. Who do you agree to meet for coffee but never call again?
On the Waterfront: your acting is so good so I'll meet you but man you're bleak. And you smell like the docks.

Who do you agree to meet for coffee, and then say you'll call but never do?
It's a Wonderful Life: I just keep thinking back to that sappy ending, and I know I'll cry if I see you again.

Who do you agree to meet for coffee, and then not show up?
The Searchers. No explanation necessary.

Who do you meet for a first date, ends up staying the night and makes you breakfast in the morning?
City Lights would even pay for my eye operation so I could see him!

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?
Marion Crane (Psycho) -- and she stole all my money! She'll get her comeuppance in the shower, no doubt.

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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