Dazed And Confused
In one of my favorite scenes from the 1997 film Dazed and Confused, Bill Hader gives one of his signature impressions while trying on one of his many wacky get-ups: “You know, I always think it’s funny when people yell ‘bitch’ at the movies. It ruins the moment, doesn’t it? It makes it so that the whole movie doesn’t feel as real.” As Hader pointed out, the crowd’s reaction to this line would be funny if the movie weren’t so good. Dazed and Confused is one of Robert Pattinson’s top ten movies; I couldn’t agree more. It’s amazing how much fun this movie is, and how much it comes with. After watching it, I’d never felt so confused and exhausted at the same time. Dazed and Confused is a triumph, and it ranks highly for a reason.
The Social Network
In The Social Network, everyone knows that Aaron Swartz died young, but they might not know how. It’s based on Fincher’s own story of creating The Social Network, which he then turned into a movie. Like The Princess And The Frog, Fincher’s first film, The Social Network deals with power and money, the dual nature of most evil. Like The Princess And The Frog, too, The Social Network has a unique and dark take on the world of social media. It explores how our friends, our families, and our coworkers can reveal so much about us, and how much we might be willing to share. Fincher’s version of The Princess And The Frog is even darker than the anime version, and one of my personal favorites. He captures the essence of the story perfectly: two princes, one good, one evil – it’s complicated and beautiful in the most horrifying way.
Good Will Hunting
Good Will Hunting is one of the best comedies ever made. Academically gifted Will Hunting (Matt Damon) falls into his professional life and becomes disillusioned with his chosen career in law. But, instead of giving up, he searches for a way to change his life and, in the process, discovers a talent for solving other people’s problems. He befriends another genius, Sean (Chi McBride), and together they form a partnership that allows Will to finally live the life he wants. Good Will Hunting is packed with funny and touching moments, but the movie transcends the mundane. Damon’s performance as Will Hunting is extraordinary, as he exhibits a level of emotional complexity that only a few other actors have ever mastered.
I didn’t actually see Finding Nemo until recently, but I’ve heard so much about it that I had to see it. It’s one of my favorite Pixar movies. When I entered the theater, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew it would be good. The animation is wonderful, the music is heart-breaking, and the message is something everyone needs to hear. Pixar has consistently delivered movies that speak to real life in a way that is both funny and thought-provoking. Finding Nemo is one of the best of the bunch. It has an extremely simple premise: Marlin (Albert Brooks) is a father who is desperate to find his daughter Harriet. After numerous mishaps and misadventures, he finally does and brings her home. However, Harvey (Elliot Goulding) is not happy about this, and enlists the help of a youngling named Nemo (Alexander Gould) to hunt down Marlin. But Marlin has his own tricks up his sleeve, and he and Nemo team up to find a way to bring happiness to their new family – even if it’s just for a little while.
The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
In one of the greatest surprise showings at the Sundance Film Festival, Fox Searchlight Pictures gave the world The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, the first film by director Andrew Marr. The movie is based on the true story of American outlaw Jesse James, who, along with his brothers Frank and James, was said to be the greatest train robber of all time. His last ride ended in a daring and controversial raid that saw him and his gang flee the city of Abilene, Kansas, in a railroad carriage. The following day, the train was surrounded by lawmen, and, after an hour-long gun battle, the outlaws were killed. Although there were several sightings of James after that, it’s generally agreed that this was most likely the end of the famous outlaw. The movie follows the exploits of Robert Ford, an agent with the Pinkerton Detective Agency who was assigned to the case. Ford sets out to locate the men who were responsible for the James Gang’s demise, and, after a long and tedious search, he manages to convince the gang’s surviving members to help him hunt down their former partners. The result is one of the most exhilarating cinematic experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. Andrew Marr has created something magical, and it’s all thanks to a wonderful performance from Ciarán McEvoy.
The Silence Of The Lambs
I’m sure many of you have heard of Hitchcock, the famed director responsible for such classic films as Rebecca, The Man Who Loved Women, and Saboteur. If you haven’t, you should certainly know his name, as his movies have starred some of the greatest actors of all time. One of his lesser-known works is The Silence Of The Lambs, based on Thomas Harris’s book of the same name. Harris’s original tale of a serial killer who stalks his victims through the use of internet chat rooms is also known as the Craigslist Killer, due to the site’s popularity with criminals. In the movie, Harris’s characters and events are transformed into something altogether darker and more horrifying. Harris’s story was previously adapted into a short film by Joe Dante, and then into a graphic novel by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber. The novel’s illustrations were later turned into a movie by Lars and the Real Girl director Ryan Coogler.
The Princess And The Frog
The Princess And The Frog, the first of the Disney Renaissance films, is one of the greatest animated fairy tales of all time. It was originally produced as The Beauty And The Frog, and it was directed by Rikola Rojas, who went on to direct many other Disney classics, including Aladdin and The Hunchback Of Suck City. The Princess And The Frog tells the story of The Beauty, a princess who lives in a magical world where the people are tiny and the landscapes are vibrant. One day, she decides to change her world and, in the process, creates a new one. She crosses a series of kingdoms, battling dragons along the way, and manages to change the ways of everyone she meets. Finally, she meets a prince who can help her bring about her new world and, in the process, change his own kingdom. This is one of the best reimagined adaptations of all time, and it still stands up as one of the most charming Pixar films, particularly the award-winning voice acting. It’s also one of the greatest Disney films of all time, up there with The Greatest Showman and Snow White. It’s an incredible achievement for Rikola Rojas, and a credit to Disney’s renaissance – and to you, reader, for making it this far into my essay!