I don’t know why I’m defending my picks. I don’t feel that strongly about any of them, but I just want to get the ball rolling.
(First off, I just have to say that I love Monty Python and think their films are hilarious. I can watch Holy Grail and Life of Brian repeatedly and laugh every single time. Also, Flying Circus is absolutely brilliant and insane. I complete joy to watch. Also, Mulholland Drive is brilliant film. One of my absolute favorites. I could debate that forever.)
Nashville- I like Robert Altman’s films for the most part. McCabe and Mrs. Miller is probably my favorite. Not just because it uses music by Leonard Cohen but also because it’s got a great feeling to it. I’m sure Nashville is fantastic and many people rate it very highly. I watched it once on TCM. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood to watch it. I just remember not digging it like I felt I should and almost falling asleep (probably due to its length). I’m probably dead wrong and this is a great film. I feel like I should love it because I enjoy Altman and some consider this to be his greatest film. I need to give it another shot at some point.
E.T. - haha sorry Brandon. I only put this on my list because you love it. Kidding. No, I absolutely recognize that this is a great movie. No doubt about it. I watched it with a close friend and his kids and my friend LOVES E.T. just like you Brandon. I remember thinking that it was good but not what everyone said it was or what I thought it would be. I agree that you don’t have to have nostalgia for it in order to enjoy it–I was only using that as a possible explanation for why I don’t love it like I feel I should. People I love (like you Brandon) love this movie, that’s why I feel I should love it too. I need to watch it again though. I watched it when I was 17ish and probably too angry/jaded to appreciate it. I might absolutely love it now. We should watch it together Brandon. I’m sure I’d feel differently about it.
Also, I guess I kind of cheated with this pick anyway. I don’t dislike E.T., not at all. I like it; I just don’t love it the way I feel I should. I feel like my heart should swoon each time I think of it. If I see it again maybe it will.
l’Avventura - I love Blow-up (more on that later). I need to see La Notte. I think L’eclisse is all right. Antonioni is one of those directors that I feel compelled to love because of his style and intellect. l’Avventura is consider a masterpiece by many. I remember being bored as fuck watching it. I remember thinking I’m not going to even pretend to be cool enough to like this. I’m sure it’s great if I actually had the patience to sit through it.
Amarcord - I adore Fellini and not in some phony hipster way, but genuinely I think he’s a blast. He was one of the director’s who got me into foreign films and foreign directors. I usually love his movies but I didn’t love Amarcord. I agree with all that you said Brandon. I feel I should love it because I love Fellini and this is a highly rated flick of his. Oh well.
Network- Yeah, well-written and enjoyable and interesting politically. I just heard sooo much about how awesome this was and then watched it and thought it was good but not as great as everyone said it was. Growing up, it seems like whenever I watched a really acclaimed 70s film, for the most part I could instantly see why it was acclaimed so highly. Didn’t get that feeling after watching this, but should watch it again.
Blade Runner - I do seem to force myself to re-watch this also. But every time I can’t get into it. It’s got lots of cool stuff, but considering how many director’s cite this as a major influence, I’m shocked at how little I actually like this. I feel like I should love it because I do enjoy sci-fi films from its era and neo-noirs like it. It just doesn’t grab me the way I think it should considering its legacy and style.
The Pianist - I really dig Polanski. When The Pianist came out it got tons of attention. Most people I knew told me to see it because it was so fantastic. I saw it and thought it was okay. Being a Polanski fan (and considering the acclaim it got), I felt like I should have liked it more. One of my pet peeves is when films are set in foreign countries, yet are spoken in English and with the accent of that country. It’s annoying as hell. But sooo many movies do it. Even movies that I like (Schindler’s List). This isn’t the reason why I didn’t like this, but it didn’t help. Just had to vent on that for a second.
Finding Nemo - Honestly I felt like a bully for putting a few kids films on here. But I love kids films and still feel like a kid, so I think it’s somewhat justified. I said that his was my least favorite pixar film. I haven’t seen Cars though, and by most accounts that is the worst (I’m sure it is). I’m glad you love this Brandon. Most people I know love this too. I just don’t think it’s that original. To me, I’ve come to expect beautiful, original stories from Pixar. Then this came out and I started to think that Pixar was just recycling the same story but in different settings (a search and rescue story...but with fish!). Cars reeked of this too, which is why I didn’t see it. I know that most animated films follow this sort of set-up (and I love this set-up, it can make for a wonderful adventure). But with Finding Nemo I didn’t think the adventure was that magical or enjoyable like it was with Toy Story. It didn’t have the originality that can seem magical and new to me. Sorry...
The emergence of Ratatouille, Wall-E, and Up–three wonderful, magical, original stories–has only lessened Finding Nemo in my eyes. You can throw stones at me for saying this Brandon. I’ll understand haha. I’m sorry....I know I should love this and I apologize for being such a curmudgeon about it. I really don’t hate it. I think it’s enjoyable. It just doesn’t have the magic of other disney or pixar films to me. But what the hell do I know? Let the aspersions ensure...
The Princess Bride - Yeah, most people are right about this. I’m sure it is a blast. I feel annoyed every time I watch it though. Maybe because it has been quoted at me so much. I never liked it growing up. I still don’t like it, and you’d have to force me to watch it now because I’ve seen it so many times. I remember I started dating a girl in high school. I went over to her house for the first time. She said, “let’s watch my favorite movie of all time–The Princess Bride!” The girl was beautiful, and at that moment I’ve never felt like I had to love something more in my entire life. I pretended to like it, but really found it annoying...especially with her reciting the lines to me as we watched it. Ah, the things one will do for a pretty girl.
Slumdog Millionaire - I really dig Danny Boyle. When he makes a movie, I go out of my way to see it. I feel like I should love all his movies because of the way I feel about some of his movies. I LOVE Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, and Sunshine. So with all the acclaim this was getting, and with people I respect telling me it was great, I saw this and did not like it one bit. I was shocked at how much I didn’t like it, considering my admiration for Boyle. It’s a shame that this is the film that he got all the awards for.