April 09, 2007

Movie Stuff: Great Quotes Don't Equal Great Movies

If you read my blog regularly, you are probably wondering where the film reviews are. Zee says she is a film addict and yet she hasn't written a movie review since around March 22nd. How can she say she's a film addict? Okay, see here's the thing: I have been watching movies, but I haven't reviewed any of them because there wasn't much worth talking about.

My latest list of movies I am going through is the AFI's Top 100 Movie Quotes of All Time. I already wrote about Soylent Green (#77 for "Soylent Green is people!"), which I liked very much. Previously, I was going through just the AFI Greatest Movies of all Time. And I made one very poor assumption. I assumed that if a movie had a great quote, the movie itself would be great, or at least entertaining. For a great quote to be a great quote, doesn't it have to mean something? Doesn't it need to inspire awe and amazement? I am not really sure how these great quotes get chosen. If I said to you, "I rule, baby!" Would you call that a great quote? Maybe, if it was said by the right person at the right time. So, I can share with you what movies I have watched, including their "great quotes," and tell you what I thought of the movie.

#70 was "Is it safe?" from Marathon Man
This is a great example of a not so great quote. Yes, Laurence Olivier said "Is it safe?" many times, but I wasn't sure it was a great quote. The movie itself was shocking, but I got very depressed watching this movie. I mean poor Dustin Hoffman. His brother gets killed, he finds out his hot girlfriend is using him, and he has some painful dental work. If it weren't for the Nazi dentist scene, I would have turned this movie off after about 15 minutes. I did enjoy seeing the Jewish jewelry salesman do a number on Olivier.

#72 was "No more wire hangers, ever!" from Mommie Dearest
Oh, dear, this would have to be one of the worst movies ever. Who enjoys seeing a child get abused? Maybe people who watch Lifetime movies get something out of this, but not me. I am not sure how much of this movie was based on fact, but hopefully you will never be subjected to this film. Christina Crawford wrote a book about her life with abusive mother Joan Crawford, which was later turned into a movie. The movie is about Joan's wild mood swings and how she took it out on her daughter. One little mistake and Christina could be subjected to anything, including spanking, violent hair brushing, being beaten with wire hangers, and even being choked. Finally she is sent away to a nunnery, where she is told by the Mother Superior that she maybe able to earn forgiveness. The movie has chronological gaps and has been hailed to be one of the worst dramas ever.

Finally I saw a movie I enjoyed watching: The Queen (2006), for which Helen Mirren won her well-deserved best actress Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth II in the aftermath after Princess Di's death in 1997. Something that might interest you is that I was actually in the United Kingdom in the weeks following her death. I was on study abroad with a group of students from Ball State University. Every cathedral we visited was piled high with flowers, notes, and gifts. The amount of mourning portrayed in this movie is no exaggeration. It was not a "great movie" for me because it did not have a strong emotional component. The movie did make me think, and afterwards, I looked up information about the royal family. Hey, if the movie made a librarian do research, it served some purpose, right?

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