Pulp Fiction – 9.1 – A really well-done Quentin Tarantino movie (not that he needs my advice or feedback). My favorite scene was Harvey Keitel explaining how to wash the car of all the bloody remnants; absolutely classic.
Fight Club – 8.3 – A David Fincher movie that I was a big fan of. It definitely makes you think a lot, and has a big twist at the end of the movie. I need to probably re-watch it (like The Usual Suspects) to pick up more cues about the dynamic between the two main characters. My biggest compliment is that when I finished it, I wondered why I hadn’t made it more of a priority to see it beforehand.
Goodfellas – 5.0 – For some reason, I just couldn’t really connect myself to this movie. I watched the Godfather series about 2 months later (see below), and enjoyed those movies a lot more. They felt like classics to me. I couldn’t really follow the plot line well enough. Ray Liotta’s annoyed me, Ray Liotta’s wife annoyed me, and Ray Liotta’s mistress annoyed me. I didn’t understand why they killed Joe Pesci until Brad explained it to me on the air.
Full Metal Jacket – 7.2 – The first half of the movie (set in the army barracks/training) was really easy to follow along and enjoyable to see. Gomer Pyle, the Drill Sergeant, etc. The war scenes in the second half of the movie were shot really well, but I had a hard time getting into it. The pace was a little too slow for me.
The Usual Suspects – 7.8 – It took me a little while to get into it, but the plot line really takes off about halfway through the movie and continues until the very end. Similar to the Sixth Sense, it’s one you need to re-watch to fully comprehend exactly what is going on. Great twist at the end, and a really compelling finish.
Rocky 1 – 5.5 – Probably the most disappointing movie I saw, of all of these. Even though it’s controversial, I think the first hour just drags on way too long (Marc Vandermeer agrees). This may be a movie that doesn’t hold up quite as well over time. I liked Rocky IV much better than this one.
The Big Lebowski – I rate this movie at around a 6.5, but I admit it can probably grow on me over time. Seems like one of those movies you pick up more things as you re-watch a few times.
Die Hard – 6.8 – Good movie, but I think it struggles with time a little bit. For people who have immersed themselves in series like “24,” the terrorist plot in Die Hard is a little too basic for my tastes. The first 30-45 minutes of this movie are pretty good, setting up the hostage situation. The interplay between Bruce Willis and Carl Winslow is very interesting as well.
Tombstone – 8.3 – Didn’t think this would really be my style of movie, but there was something really enjoyable about the Western scene, the way the movie was presented, and the score.
Saving Private Ryan – 9.5 – I have to admit that I didn’t find myself as riveted to the first 30 minutes of the movie as most people were. Loved the scene with George Marshall finding out about the news of the 2 Ryan brothers, and then recalling the words of Abraham Lincoln. I think the last 50 minutes or so of the movie are really good; right around when they send the German soldier walking away in the pasture. The ending is terrific.
Godfather I – 9.2 – Just an all-around excellent movie. The scene with the studio head waking up with the horse-head is absolute laugh out loud funny, given the way they set up the whole situation. Long movie, but I don’t think it really dragged. I was fascinated by the mafia murder scenes (Michael Corleone shooting the police offer and the mob guy at the restaurant). The score of the movie is superb. Movie gets docked a few decimal points for Appalonia having to die.
Godfather II – 8.1 – I didn’t like it as much as Godfather I. It’s tough to do 3 hours and 20 minutes, even with a movie like this. For some reason, I enjoyed the flashback to Don Corleone a lot more than the Michael Corleone flash-forward part of the movie. It definitely has a fairly dark ending. My main criticism of this movie is length, and I also found it a little hard to follow the plot line. Brad had to explain to me exactly how Michael figured out Fredo had betrayed him. Then again, maybe I’m just an idiot.
Reservoir Dogs – 7.8 – Definitely fits the style of a Quentin Tarantino movie. The opening scene about tipping is a classic; that was actually the one part of the movie I had seen before. It’s definitely a little gruesome in spots, but the middle-end is pretty entertaining. Another excellent scene is the boss explaining the different colors assigned to each criminal, and the way they try to trade/exchange their “colors.”
Seven – 8.5 – Excellent and gripping from the start. Much more of a psychological thriller than a “horror movie.” Didn’t make 9-10 because I don’t view this movie as a “classic,” and there was too much rain in the movie. It doesn’t rain that much even in Seattle and London. I also felt that Kevin Spacey should not have killed Brad Pitt’s wife.
Shawshank Redemption – 9.1 – It was interesting watching this movie the week after Seven; talk about dramatically opposite endings. I liked the movie all the way through (wraps you in very quickly with Andy Dufresne being sentenced to prison), but it takes off when the warden allows the possible witness to be shot. At that point, it turns into a movie with many strategic elements. The montage of Dufresne escaping from prison, with the 19-year use of his hammer to dig a long tunnel, was absolutely brilliant. What seems like a very straightforward movie turns into one with some plot twists at the end. I really liked Morgan Freeman’s narration. The “get busy living or get busy dying” was a great theme and life lesson as well.