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Monday, July 16, 2007

The Break Up: A Film Review

Ok, I should be embarrassed that I even saw this movie, but I am a man with a girlfriend as well as a huge fan of movies in general so I rarely turn down the chance to see a film, even if it is an obvious “chick flick.” Having said that, I actually really enjoyed it, lame ending and all.

The story centers around the complete meltdown of Gary Grabowski (Vince Vaughn) and Brooke Meyers’ (Jennifer Aniston) relationship, and those looking for more than that need not apply. Director Peyton Reed (Bring It On) wastes no time diving into the nastiness, with only a slim meet cute between the lead characters and a photo montage to set up the relationship. In fact, this relatively scant prologue is one of Reed’s greatest coups, as he proves a deft ability to convey the depth of Gary and Brooke’s relationship with little more than a few realistically snapped photographs.

The Challenge

Before I jump into the reviews of the movies I have watched over the last few days I want to start by expressing my deep embarrassment over my lack of knowledge of great movies. Recently, I was perusing the latest American Film Institute 100 Best list (see below for complete list) and realized I had seen only a quarter of the movies on this list. I was shocked that I had seen so few so I vowed to watch them all by the end of the year. A lofty goal, certainly, but one I feel I am suited to rise to. So I added 75 or so movies to my Netflix que and have already begun watching these prized American movies. The first that arrived was Casablanca and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Currently I am holding onto Raging Bull and will soon post a review of that movie for everyone's enjoyment. Anyway, I just wanted to start everything off with this embarrassing admission before I seek to rectify my past pop culture sins.

1. "Citizen Kane," 1941.
2. "The Godfather," 1972.
3. "Casablanca," 1942.
4. "Raging Bull," 1980.
5. "Singin' in the Rain," 1952.
6. "Gone With the Wind," 1939.
7. "Lawrence of Arabia," 1962.
8. "Schindler's List," 1993.
9. "Vertigo," 1958.
10. "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.
11. "City Lights," 1931.
12. "The Searchers," 1956.
13. "Star Wars," 1977.
14. "Psycho," 1960.
15. "2001: A Space Odyssey," 1968.
16. "Sunset Blvd.", 1950.
17. "The Graduate," 1967.
18. "The General," 1927.
19. "On the Waterfront," 1954.
20. "It's a Wonderful Life," 1946.
21. "Chinatown," 1974.
22. "Some Like It Hot," 1959.
23. "The Grapes of Wrath," 1940.
24. "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," 1982.
25. "To Kill a Mockingbird," 1962.
26. "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," 1939.
27. "High Noon," 1952.
28. "All About Eve," 1950.
29. "Double Indemnity," 1944.
30. "Apocalypse Now," 1979.
31. "The Maltese Falcon," 1941.
32. "The Godfather Part II," 1974.
33. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," 1975.
34. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937.
35. "Annie Hall," 1977.
36. "The Bridge on the River Kwai," 1957.
37. "The Best Years of Our Lives," 1946.
38. "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," 1948.
39. "Dr. Strangelove," 1964.
40. "The Sound of Music," 1965.
41. "King Kong," 1933.
42. "Bonnie and Clyde," 1967.
43. "Midnight Cowboy," 1969.
44. "The Philadelphia Story," 1940.
45. "Shane," 1953.
46. "It Happened One Night," 1934.
47. "A Streetcar Named Desire," 1951.
48. "Rear Window," 1954.
49. "Intolerance," 1916.
50. "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," 2001.
51. "West Side Story," 1961.
52. "Taxi Driver," 1976.
53. "The Deer Hunter," 1978.
54. "M-A-S-H," 1970.
55. "North by Northwest," 1959.
56. "Jaws," 1975.
57. "Rocky," 1976.
58. "The Gold Rush," 1925.
59. "Nashville," 1975.
60. "Duck Soup," 1933.
61. "Sullivan's Travels," 1941.
62. "American Graffiti," 1973.
63. "Cabaret," 1972.
64. "Network," 1976.
65. "The African Queen," 1951.
66. "Raiders of the Lost Ark," 1981.
67. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", 1966.
68. "Unforgiven," 1992.
69. "Tootsie," 1982.
70. "A Clockwork Orange," 1971.
71. "Saving Private Ryan," 1998.
72. "The Shawshank Redemption," 1994.
73. "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," 1969.
74. "The Silence of the Lambs," 1991.
75. "In the Heat of the Night," 1967.
76. "Forrest Gump," 1994.
77. "All the President's Men," 1976.
78. "Modern Times," 1936.
79. "The Wild Bunch," 1969.
80. "The Apartment, 1960.
81. "Spartacus," 1960.
82. "Sunrise," 1927.
83. "Titanic," 1997.
84. "Easy Rider," 1969.
85. "A Night at the Opera," 1935.
86. "Platoon," 1986.
87. "12 Angry Men," 1957.
88. "Bringing Up Baby," 1938.
89. "The Sixth Sense," 1999.
90. "Swing Time," 1936.
91. "Sophie's Choice," 1982.
92. "Goodfellas," 1990.
93. "The French Connection," 1971.
94. "Pulp Fiction," 1994.
95. "The Last Picture Show," 1971.
96. "Do the Right Thing," 1989.
97. "Blade Runner," 1982.
98. "Yankee Doodle Dandy," 1942.
99. "Toy Story," 1995.
100. "Ben-Hur," 1959.

UPDATE: So what we can all learn from this post is that just because I write it on this blog does not necessarily mean it's true. I obviously did not finish this list in a year, not even close. In afct, as of right now I have only watched 4 (Nashville, Raging Bull, Vertigo, and Do The Right Thing) more movies off this list, which still leaves 65 left to watch. My procrastination is so bad that in the two years since this list came out AFI has since released two more updated lists, so this isn't the current best 100 list. So, I apologize with all my procrastinating heart to anyone whose life may have been hanging on my finishing this list by some delicate and harrowing thread. it was not my intention to lie so baldly right out the gate. Hopefully from now on I will do a better job of not just completely blowing my own assignments.